Pre-recession questions for your post-recession consultants

Summary:

Article suggests that executives ask potential consultants what they advised their clients 2005 - 2007.

10/24/2011 – I posted this two years ago.  Now is the time to remind business people whose memories might have faded.

Going through trade magazines, I read more and more “post recession” advice from consultants about customer psychology, resource realignment, technology spending, advertising and other things consultants help manage.  A quick search revealed that “pre recession” none of these seers wrote about the manure heading toward the fan.  So, I gleaned another silver lining in the thundercloud of economic collapse; a new baseline for business leaders assessing potential advisers.

From now on, companies should pose the following questions to potential ad agencies, public relations firms, business intelligence vendors, accountants, management consultants,  or any other people offering mission-critical resources:

  • How did you prepare your clients in 2005 – 2006 to face the pending downturn?
  • What initiatives did you have in place to respond to the crisis and find new opportunities resulting from the collapse?
  • What was your firm’s plan for surviving (and profiting in) the crisis and identifying new ways to help struggling companies,?
  • How did you use your prestige and resources to help your friends, family, neighbors and community?

Each consulting firm competes with others to convince business owners and corporate decision makers it is uniquely qualified to help companies succeed in areas they cannot manage alone.  For smart leaders, asking those questions will narrow the list quickly.