How do I find out more about these marketing organizations that promise to find projects for independent consultants?
Without mentioning names, there are a dozen or more high profile companies (some are organized as nonprofits) that, for a fee, will provide consultants with a list of "qualified" prospective clients. They market the availability of consulting services, often made up of a list of those consultants who have paid for an annual or other type of subscription. These companies vigorously market their access to consulting expertise to clients and serve as project brokers to subscribing consultants.
There are two issues with these companies. First, how does it make sense for someone unfamiliar with either the client or consultant to serve as a broker? Doesn't it make more sense for consultants and clients to deal directly with each other? Second, there are a lot of ethical issues with these brokerage companies. Claims to clients and consultants by many of these companies often go unfulfilled, as some IMC members who had thought it might be a good idea to try these services. One of our members recently brought to our attention one such company that had even selectively plagiarized the IMC USA Code of Ethics and passed it off as its own. Wow!Tip:
Be aware of the danger in these kind of companies. Take advantage of your professional association to check if the organization is legitimate and follows ethical practices. Ask your colleagues and in IMC chapters to see what your consulting friends experience has been.© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA