Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Outside Marketing Consultant

As a small business owner, your main goal is to make money but you really need the help of a marketing consultant to do it. How do you go about hiring one? The first thing you need to do before interviewing candidates to find the right fit for you is to establish your objectives and the outcome you wish to achieve. Once you have clearly delineated parameters on what you hope to achieve, there are some important questions to ask your prospective consultant.

Career Longevity and References

Asking about their longevity in the marketing business should be the first question you ask when interviewing prospective candidates. The answer you want depends on the type of project and type of skills you require. Do you need a marketing consultant formally trained with a global mindset? Or, would you rather have a marketer with experience in a specific niche?

Ask for references or testimonials of other clients the marketer has served. If they do not or cannot provide references that you can call who will attest to their effective skills, then you need to bypass that consultant candidate. Also, be wary of a marketing candidate who is too forthcoming with intimate details of past consulting projects. If you want discretion, a talkative consulting candidate would not be a good fit for you.

Ask for proof of their accomplishments. While this may be somewhat tied to references and testimonials from other clients, knowing they have the “goods” to back up their claims is important. How much did sales increase for their former clients? Did past clients achieve higher customer satisfaction ratings thanks to the candidate’s consultancy efforts?

Focus on your Particular Industry

Do you have specific needs that necessitate a specialised focus for your marketing plan? For instance, if you own a medical products company, you would want a consultant that has worked in the medical field, specifically someone with knowledge of similar medical products.

When your business has specialised products and services, you want a marketer that keeps up with the latest in the industry. Do they sound like a 21st century marketing specialist?

The last thing to focus on is whether or not you could work with a potential marketing consultant. Do they communicate well with you, carefully explaining their reasoning? Do they listen to your ideas? Does your personality mesh with theirs? Sometimes, the bottom line comes to whether or not you could get along with your candidate.