There are plenty of consultants out there looking for a good client to love them, so it perhaps seems strange that clients often struggle to find them.
But they don’t want any old consultant – they want the right consultant. And whilst they can of course find comfort in the arms of a big brand they might want more (the old saying goes “no one ever got fired for hiring xxx” although it would probably be more complete if it included “and they never got promoted either”).
But attempts at online consultant match-making/directory services never seem to really work, and whilst Procurement would be ashamed if they could not tell you who the best suppliers are in other spaces (e.g. who makes the best laptops) they usually dread being asked the question “can you recommend a consultant who is good at X?”.
Why? Because (and Procurement also hates hearing this…) it’s “all about relationships”. Clients are buying trusted advice – and who do you trust? People you know and who have delivered for you before – so you should therefore talk to them first.
Of course you should also take a look around and see if you can do better – and if you don’t know any suitable alternate consultants then simply do what you would if you were looking for a builder; ask a mate.