While many people have enjoyed the “You Might be a Redneck If” jokes by Jeff Foxworthy, few people are aware of the applicability to the IT community. As a professional IT consultant for C5 Insight, I have saved a number of clients from unfortunate situations caused by their previous, not-so-qualified consulting partners.
Luckily, we were able to address these troublesome scenarios with the customer and convince them to kick their previous provider to the curb before they could cause more damage. To prevent more people from getting into these sticky situations, we compiled a list of funny truths (or warning signs) below.
You might need a new consulting partner if …
• They charge you for time and travel expenses just to meet you
• They set up a meeting then before the meeting starts you are immediately passed off to another person on their team to address your questions (and this becomes a pattern)
• They can’t provide you with a billing rate without drawing a matrix
• They respond to your request by saying “Wow that is crazy – it can never be done" or by displaying a perplexed facial expression
• They don’t support your company’s mission statement, vision or ongoing operation
• Their team doesn’t understand the scope of the project or how much time it will require
• Their solutions are always custom developments
• They don’t display any innovation or thought leadership to help take your solution, and ultimately your organization, to the next level
• They say something like "You’re my only client running this module, so good luck with that"
• They can’t justify what they’ve done on recent work
• Their reply to a software issue is "I don’t know how to fix it but I’m happy to sell you a new server or support plan. It will only cost you…"
• You have tasks or projects that have gone on so long you forgot about them, until you get a reminder in the form of a bill
• They are your best friend before the deal but afterward they are impossible to reach
• They immediately provide a quote for your complex project after one 30-minute phone call
• They say they “understand your wants/needs” before they ask any questions
If you’ve seen any of these warning signs, we suggest you get a new consulting partner immediately!
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