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How do you vet a consultant properly?

Detailed question - I've hired a consultant before, however I didn't know if this person was the best I could get. They did ok, not stellar. Is there any tricks to determining if the consultant truly is an expert in the area I need? There are no certifications I can find for a sales consultant for example.

Consultant Answers (1)

Rick Campfield Oregon - Portland , USA

Reg. 18 Dec 2019

Answered 5 months ago Currently, consultants are typically hired by word of mouth; referral. The best vetting is talking to the consultants previous customers - as many as it takes to triangulate an idea of their sweet spot / capabilities, and the results. Always ask what the issue or problem they were brought in on, and what was the result of the consultant's engagement. Checking out the consultant's website and social presence is a given. Ping some of their network connections to find out the character of the consultant. And then there is CONSULTANTDECK, which will continue to be of value to vet a consultant as time progresses and there is traction with this two-sided community. Once you've done your due-diligence, ask the consultant if they would put together their plan to help support you in whatever initiative it is you are seeking to solve. They will want to give you a project price, which isn't all bad - no risk on your part - if deliverables (aka expectations) are well defined. Hourly can be counter to whatever budget you may have, as they are not incentivized to move swiftly. With solid scope and deliverables, fixed fee is best way to proceed. The consultant will also push for a retainer - which isn't a bad thing, however if your project or need can handle a short time frame, test the consultant out first before you commit to a retainer. Walk into any engagement like a partnership, and you just may end up with a much better solution and advisor to help you along the way the next time.

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