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What advice would you give to leaders dealing with boutique consulting firms?

Meet the team that the firm’s going to assign before you make the deal. During a commission conversation I once had, one of the vendors answering the request for proposals could not answer a particular question; it was advanced, but it was still in their realm. My favorite line from that interview was when they said, "We'll assign the team for your project after you sign the deal." I said, "Absolutely not, I'll meet them first. From now on, I want to meet the team doing implementation before we sign anything. Otherwise, you’re going to bring in the D team and then I'll have to explain things all over again because you took your A players off the project."

Anonymous Author
Meet the team that the firm’s going to assign before you make the deal. During a commission conversation I once had, one of the vendors answering the request for proposals could not answer a particular question; it was advanced, but it was still in their realm. My favorite line from that interview was when they said, "We'll assign the team for your project after you sign the deal." I said, "Absolutely not, I'll meet them first. From now on, I want to meet the team doing implementation before we sign anything. Otherwise, you’re going to bring in the D team and then I'll have to explain things all over again because you took your A players off the project."
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Anonymous Author
Write into the deal that if there are three or more SEV1 problems on the project that stay open for longer than four weeks, somebody at an SVP level or above will come over every other week and spend at least one day with you until it gets resolved. They will hate that and they will fight it, but they'll eventually sign on those terms to get the deal. They won't like it once they know that some SVP has got to waste their time coming out to your company, so problems don’t tend to linger when there are consequences like that for the contractor.
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