Before you know what to expect from any consultant, you first need to know what qualities to look for. There are at least 6 crucial qualities that should be found in the consultant you choose, without them, you may be setting yourself up for a hard time. These mostly occur when communication breaks down, but trust in your consultant, in the end is a big part of it.
This list of 6 points should always be kept in mind when shopping around for a consultant of any sort. You have to remember that they are the experts, and because of that expertise and understanding, they should without a doubt be able to explain to you, in layman’s terms, how things are supposed to be done. Don’t allow yourself to be bamboozled by technical or industry jargon. Ask questions to anything you are uncertain of, and be sure those questions are answered. If you feel the answer wasn’t specific enough, or truly answer your question, don’t let it slide. There is nothing they should not be able to explain to you in regards to their industry. It’s known that there are a lot of so called “consultants” out there who really do nothing but sell snake oil. So remain diligent, and stay wise. So without further ado, let’s get into the meat of what you should look for in a consultant.
It does not bode well if you notice that when you speak to a consultant, their eyes glaze over and it appears as though what you are saying is not being heard. One of the most important characteristics to look for is that when you speak, they are attentive and taking in all that you are saying. If they don’t, something important may go unheard, only allowing problems to develop in the future.
You should never feel as though your consultant is not telling you something. You hired them, and as such, any information that is relevant to you should be known. Every success as well as hiccup throughout the process should be known. You should also feel that you can contact them at any time without it seeming as though it’s a burden. An open discussion is paramount for developing trust, and feeling secure in your decision to use a consultant.
Includes You With The Design
Now it’s understood that you are using a consultant because you are not an expert yourself, however, that does not mean you lack any meaningful input. Again, and this cannot be stressed enough, there should be no part of the process where you feel you are left out. This includes even technical aspects of the process.
Includes You With The Purchasing Options
If this point seems to be redundant than good, that means you’ve remembered what was said before. Because what is being purchased, and where it is being purchased from is, in the end, one of the reasons you hired a consultant. If you knew what to buy and where to get it, you probably wouldn’t need one to begin with.
General Overall Cooperation
You should always be sure to ask in what way you are going to be included in the decision making process, and how communication is going to take place to make that easier. Even though you are not the expert, your insight into your specific business as well as what you expect to receive should be known. This will help tremendously in allowing your consultant to provide the absolute best service they can, and cooperation on their part should be expected.
You wouldn’t trust a car salesmen who only sells the used cars of his close friends and family. The reason, obviously, is because they are more obliged to oversell and even sell things that are not needed. The same holds true for consultants of any sort. If you suspect your consultant to be in cahoots with a systems provider of any sort whom you may be purchasing from, proceed with caution. It may not be that they are selling snake oil per se, but that should definitely raise some concerns.
Hopefully this list will help to highlight exactly what every person should be looking for when shopping around for a consultant. Just remember, again, that you are shopping for a consultant who is an expert in their industry. As such, they should be able to explain any technical or difficult aspect of the process in a clear and concise manner. You should always be wary if after being given an answer, you’re left with nothing but more questions. If they can’t explain it, chances are they don’t know what they are talking about.
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The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @JakabokBotch. Hiring the right consultant can seem daunting, but if you are looking for the best Public Safety Consulting company available, be sure to check out Elert.com.