The knowledge expert marketplace is incredibly complex. The space is vulnerable to anyone with minimum qualifications. But, to sift out the one who works best for you, make sure you are equipped with the right questions. Here are the five pressing matters you should be aware of before you hire a market intelligence consultant.
1. What are their qualifications and credentials?
The question is likely to cover how competent and knowledgeable the consultant is in their field of expertise. If regulations require the person to be certified, then you must do due diligence in vetting that out. Look for educational and experiential merits on the profile. Work usually proves what people cannot articulate.
2. How do they track goals and ensure data security?
Apart from walking you through your specific needs, it is critical to track your progress towards these goals. Understand how the consultant tracks progress throughout the project. Get reports documented, and confirm the frequency at which they offer advice. Furthermore, they need to ensure that your data is secure. With wave after wave of the digital revolution, there are labyrinthine things that can go wrong. Take note of each of these aspects before you make a decision.
3. How do they charge for your services?
Knowledge expert consultants of the gig economy charge a fixed fee based on the time they spend with you working. Pay-per-minute and pay-as-you-go models are quite popular today. It’s best you benchmark these costs according to measurable KRAs and KPIs beforehand.
4. How do they ensure that the engagement is aligned with your requirements?
While you are negotiating terms, it is important to find out which topics, decisions, or areas of advice they do not hold fiduciary standards to. You can ask the consultant to disclose any potential conflicts of interest. It may also help if you ask your advisor for a reference if you have not already approached them through one. You can talk to the reference yourself for a better understanding.
5. Do you have the secret ingredient?
Isn’t it ironic that transparency is the secret ingredient? It is important to be able to express things that matter to you and receive simple advice without jargon. You will need to have these negotiated terms signed in black and white and easily verifiable. It’s simple. Transparency breeds trust, two foundational experiences for a healthy working relationship with your consultant.
Before you sign up, remember to knock these things off your checklist.
Ask yourself if the consultant is making you feel like your problem is too complex to be managed by yourself. The ideal expert would be one who gives you the flexibility to take back your business challenges into your own hands. Even though, that external point of view will bring immense value to whatever you’re working on.