Choosing the Right Consultant
Updated: Jun 14, 2020
I've worked for and with several companies throughout my career and during that time I've had to deal with a lot of vendors and a lot of consultants. In fact, working with consultants for me has always been similar to taking nasty cough medicine...always leaving a bad taste in your mouth and not necessarily taking care of the cough. So, how does one choose the right consultant?
For me, choosing the right consultant is more like finding the right "partner" rather than finding just a "vendor". The difference between the two for me is that a vendor simply supplies a skill or service or product where as a partner provides all of those things AND a relationship.
You want to find someone you can relate to and someone who can relate to you. Someone that is working with you and your team rather than simply suggesting (eg. "consulting") what you should be doing. Also, it's important for this partner to show you and your team how to fend for yourselves; remember the old "teach a man to fish" story? In fact, a good consultant, or what I like to call a partner, should always be trying to work themselves out of a job. This may sound counterproductive (for the consultant), but in the long run it's doing the right thing for their client is what will build lasting relationships.
Don't just hire a consultant that has the longest resume, but hire someone you can connect with and someone that can truly be your "partner".