Choosing a Consultant: Integrity

October 1, 2011 ~ 

It’s inevitable. Sooner or later you’ll need expertise—you’ll need to outsource. Whether you are a company looking for a communications consultant, or a homeowner remodeling your kitchen, you meet with several people and discuss the products and services they offer you. 

But don’t forget to check their integrity. There are enough agencies and contractors out there dying for work—make them prove they have a strong reputation, are dedicated to progress, and treat their employees right. 

Dig around for info or ask them outright: 

What is your business model?

How many full-time employees on staff? Have they been with you long?

What’s your credit rating? Have these past few years been tough?

How long have you been in business? Who founded it? Is he/she still around?

What’s it like working with you?

Will you stick with us through this project, to the bitter end?

How have you changed with the times?

What is the latest technology? What’s your take on it?

How was your customer-service team trained? 

How long has your product/service been around? How long will it continue?

What’s your ratio of support staff to customers? Do you charge for customer service?

Will you train me in what I need to know?

Will I have a single point of contact?

Sometimes simply asking makes them realize that professional integrity is more important than a bargain.

If they don’t already know that, they’re not for you. 

About Ruth Zamoyta

Communications strategist, project manager, épée fencer, poet.

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