FAQs for Buyers

What is ProfessionaLink?

    ProfessionaLink is a powerful service that finds Fortune 1000 executives the best consulting firms for their project needs. Founded by a team of ex-consultants, ProfessionaLink has the expertise to identify true niche market players in the consulting world. Our service combines the speed and accessibility of the Internet, with personalized service facilitated by our experts. The end result? Better resources, results, and significant time and cost savings.

Why should I use ProfessionaLink's services?

    Our team has over 50 years of senior management experience with well known firms such as BCG, Bain and Company & Mercer. You can access the highest quality, lowest cost consultants tailored to your project by leveraging ProfessionaLink's seasoned researchers, well-developed search methodology and one of the world's largest databases of consultants, experts, academics and market research firms.

How does your service work?

    Simple. You fill out a one page project request. We submit our vetted recommendations within 2-5 business days. After a 30 minute telephone interview with each candidate you can proceed straight to proposal stage or arrange an in-person meeting with each finalist prior to requesting a proposal.

When can I expect results?

    Our average turn around time is 2-5 business days, depending on your project scope. We have turned around projects in as little as 1 day for private equity clients.

Why would I want to use a boutique firm over a leading industry name?

    For any given consulting assignment, there are several specialist boutique firms available who are experts in the topic. They offer substantial advantages over their larger counterparts in that Their consultants are more seasoned and experienced vs large firms' junior consulting resources, resulting in higher productivity per hour billed They often have lower overheads, allowing many to charge lower rates They are willing to accept more narrowly focused projects; their partners do not have $5-10 million sales goals which encourage them to engage in scope creep A 10-20% advantage in each of these cost drivers can result in overall project costs which are 25-50% lower, overwhelming any volume discounts offered by the larger firms.

I'm pleased with my existing relationships. Why would I want to take the risk of trying out a new firm?

    Our firms are true experts in a given field. In order for a consulting firm to be recommended by ProfessionaLink, they must have our stamp of approval. We do an extensive reference checks (a minimum of 3) to assure that they've worked in relevant industry and functional areas, in addition to delivering excellence across the board. On many occasion we have placed firms who have previously performed identical projects for other companies in your industry.

Do you negotiate pricing?

    Yes. Our Premier Service offers contract negotiations. Most clients prefer to do their own negotiating, though we are more than happy to assist. (Note: our Premier service involves a 10% additional fee)

Do the consulting firms that you recommend build ProfessionaLink's commission fee into their proposal?

    No. Since we typically recommend 2-3 firms to you, each consulting firm needs to be competitive with their bids.

What type of projects do you work on?

    A wide range of services spanning over 100 distinct industry segments and over 100 separate functional areas including marketing, strategy, operations, HR, M&A, finance, etc.

FAQs for Consultants, Market Research firms, Experts, and Academics

What is Professionalink?

  • ProfessionaLink is a service linking high quality professional firms with corporate buyers, thus eliminating much of the cost, risk and uncertainty associated with the search for attractive consulting projects.
  • Our service is predicated on matching the expertise of the consultant with the specific client requirements.
  • We also qualify the lead, confirming whether there is budget, identifying the decision-maker and ensuring that we have obtained a specific description of the project, including project objectives, scope, timing and deliverables before approaching possible consulting candidates.

Why should I sign up?

  • ProfessionaLink has a 'rolodex' of several thousand Fortune 2000 executives to whom we have introduced our service, and we have live conversations with several hundred executives a month in pursuit of project opportunities, resulting in a steady stream of projects.
  • Signing up involves no obligation on your part other than to specify your capabilities in our format and to present up to 4 references who can speak to your firm's expertise. We also ask you to sign a very simple Marketing Agreement which specifies the terms of our relationship.
  • There are no upfront subscription fees or other payments required to gain access to projects and there is no obligation on your part to pursue any projects we present
  • However, we will not introduce your firm to a client opportunity until the sign-up process is complete.

How much does it cost?

    The cost of service is 5 to 33% depending on the size of the project.

    You only pay us once you have been paid.

Why should I trust ProfessionaLink to represent me well?

  • We are not attempting to represent any particular members, that's up to you; what we do is to present to our client a shortlist of 2-3 candidates that we believe are high quality and suitable for the project. We play a neutral role and do not attempt to 'sell or represent the consultant.
  • We do a good job of matching consultants to client opportunities due to our expertise and experience in the consulting field. We are led by a seasoned team of top-flight consultants, Internet executives and marketers who understand the consulting business and make every effort to understand each member’s capabilities in depth.

What experience does ProfessionaLink have in placing consulting projects?

  • We have placed hundreds of consulting projects averaging $200k each.
  • Our senior executives have a total of over 50 years cumulative experience in selling and managing consulting work; we are now applying that to our business model. We have learned from others' experience as well: we have carefully examined how others have attempted to create professional services exchanges, obtained client feedback and ? we believe - created a better process.
  • We now have a core group of over 5,000 consulting firms in our database and have begun actively generating business for them.

How do you advertise? Will we have a brochure on your website?

  • We use disguised descriptions of consultants to illustrate the strength of our membership to corporate buyers.
  • We do not advertise particular firms by name; instead, when we see a project that fits your firm’s capabilities, we notify you. As a result, you get qualified project leads as opposed to casual, non-productive inquiries.

Will you keep my references confidential?

  • Absolutely. We treat the process of checking references with great care. We do not provide the client with verbatim reference information, but rather we distill the input from various references, combined with our own observations of the firm and feedback on other projects in which we have placed the firm, in a brief to the client so they understand why we are recommending them.

How do I make sure we get a fair shot at suitable projects?

  • First, make sure you have completed the sign up process. Since clients often have a short time frame, any delay in completing the process may result in ProfessionaLink submitting other candidates instead.
  • Provide as much information as possible on your firm. Brochures, articles, latest thinking/intellectual capital, etc. is helpful. We of course treat all proprietary information confidentially, but we will give preference to a firm that clearly has expertise relevant to any given project.
  • Be candid with us about your firm's capabilities. Our best members will decline a project on occasion because they feel the fit may not be the best; conversely, members who consistently overstate their capabilities will receive fewer project opportunities from us.
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