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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #65: February, 2009

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC

Reactions to: "I've been tasked to find, evaluate, and recommend consultants because my boss doesn't have the time to do so, and I'm the one whose recommendation will be accepted."

  • Thanks, I understand how you work. Let me make clear how I work: I talk to you so that we can both assess whether I'm right for you and you're right for me, and if we're both motivated to move forward, we only involve your boss at that time.
  • As I'm sure you can understand, ethically, I must hear from the person making the investment what he or she specifically expects, which is a canon of the Society for Advancement of Consulting.®
  • Your boss's boss is going to ask your boss at some point, whether things are very good or very bad, "How much time did you spend choosing this consultant?"
  • There are some questions I have which are required for my proposal that only your boss can answer, so we need to arrange for that.
  • We can go forward together to your boss, or I can go alone to take any adverse consequences, but I can't expect you to do my marketing here for me.
  • I'm shocked that the other consultants with whom you've spoken don't see the ethical and pragmatic requirement to talk to the person with the fiduciary responsibility.
  • How do I know if I'm compatible with your boss if I can't spend time with him/her? Come on, the chemistry is important here and that can't be evaluated through a third party!
  • What will you base your recommendation on, since I can't make my own recommendation without knowing your boss's expectations?
  • That's fine for a vender or a training company, but that's not how anyone deals with consultants. You're not in a fair or justifiable position to evaluate a McKinsey, a BCG, or me.
  • I'm sorry, your boss doesn't deal with middlemen in his/her dealings, and neither do I. We either start from a position of mutual respect or we don't start.
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