How Do You Choose the Best Marketing Consultant?

In my life I have never attempted to repair an automobile. I have no facility for mechanics, no interest in fixing things and no curiosity about what makes engines tick. I have simply recognized my limitations as a backyard mechanic and take the wounded vehicle to professionals for proper care.

Most people are similarly limited in certain skill areas, while gifted in others, much like me. My career as a Marketing Consultant and Consumer Product Development specialist has introduced me to 1000′s of potential clients. Most have never undertaken the challenges inherent in Marketing a new product or service, or starting a new business. They often recognize that they need help, but they often need to ask: what is the best way to uncover the right consultant for a specific project?

Here are several tips for securing talent that will save your project time, mistakes and money when choosing a Marketing Consultant:

- Meet Face-to-Face
- Look at their work product, PR, past strategies, designs
- Ask about the products they have launched themselves
- Ask about patents they might have owned
- Only deal with specialist firms-if you have a consumer product, do not hire an agronomist or civil engineering consultant
- Have they won industry awards
- References are nice, but really, who gives bad references
- Quality Consultants are Fee Based, discover pertinent fees
- Make sure they will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
- After signing the NDA, describe your concept, prototype, etc.
- What specific, off-the-cuff strategies does the consultant propose
- Do the strategies proposed seem cogent, offer fresh perspective

After conducting the above due diligence, repeat the process with at least two more candidates. Keep notes, even record the meetings. Do not allow any high pressure, walk if this occurs. Then collate your thoughts, confide in trusted advisers and weigh the best features of each firm. The choice will be most obvious in every case.

Geoff Ficke has been a serial entrepreneur for almost 50 years. As a small boy, earning his spending money doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, he learned the value of selling himself, offering service and value for money.

After putting himself through the University of Kentucky (B.A. Broadcast Journalism, 1969) and serving in the United States Marine Corp, Mr. Ficke commenced a career in the cosmetic industry. After rising to National Sales Manager for Vidal Sassoon Hair Care at age 28, he then launched a number of ventures, including Rubigo Cosmetics, Parfums Pierre Wulff Paris, Le Bain Couture and Fashion Fragrance.

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