How to Buy Professional Services

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the buying of professional services by management. This is true for a broad range of advisory activities, such as financial, economic, public relations, advertising, legal, personnel, research, and many others. By the same token, there has been a marked growth in the firms selling these services.

While companies pay hefty fees to this growing body of professional consultants and advisers, the amount paid out for fees is quite small if compared to the dollars at stake when companies follow the advice of professional consultants. Yet management has far less experience in buying professional services than it has in buying goods and equipment. Unfortunately, the tried and true rules for buying goods do not work when applied to the buying of professional services. Many a management has gone badly astray by applying the same rules that have served well over the years in building a plant or investing in capital equipment to the hiring of professional consultation…

https://hbr.org/1966/03/how-to-buysell-professional-services