The world is going global because businesses are going global. And this has increased the need for projecting the right image among other professionals tenfold. Hence, in addition to corporate training, companies are hiring image consulting professionals to help their employees create a powerful business image. But with all kinds of Image Consultants, working on all or some aspects of image enhancement, choosing the right one becomes challenging.
Hence, to make the right decision, here are a few things that you must know before you hire an Image Consultant:
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Know Your Purpose - Every organization has a different set of expectations from the Image Consultants they hire for their company. While Image Consultants wear many hats throughout their career, they do hold expertise in certain areas. Knowing what you wish to achieve with their support would help you reach the Image Consultants that have expertise aligned with your corporate requirement. Moreover, knowing what change you wish to see in the company will help you track performance through consulting and training.
Here’s what most companies expect from corporate image consulting programs:
- Executive Presence
- Customer Engagement
- Soft Skills Training
- Business Etiquette, etc.
Know the Academic Background - Though passionate Image Consultants stand out irrespective of their academic background, what they have studied might help if it is related to your industry. Also, verify if the Image Consulting Institute they are certified from offers certifications in accreditation with internationally renowned institutes.
How to evaluate reputation management firms
This will help you trust them, sit back, and see your employees grow into better professionals.
Check Reviews - Talk to people you know or trust and ask for their experience with Image Consultants they might have hired. Take suggestions or referrals when needed and then move into the research phase. Also, check out reviews online, or as Image Consultants for references and chat with them to find out more.
Check Online - Another great option is to search online. Look for reviews that can show you the clearer picture. Shortlist the Image Consultants or Image Consulting Institutes that you find great and then browse through their websites. Gauge their online presence and presentation since a good Image Consultant or institute must at least manage their own brand well.
Their brand activity online and the reviews on their website will also help you make an informed and better decision.
Know if Their Programs Work for You - Many Image Consulting businesses or brands have their own set of programs. They may have a fixed training session plan, training curriculum, topics, etc. Know if their plan works good for your company. Check if they have a flexible training program that you can take advantage of.
Some Image Consulting brands also offer corporate alliances. Talk with them to know the benefits before you make a decision.
Know the Cost of Services to the Company - If you’re planning to invest in the image enhancement of your employees, knowing that you have invested in the right place will keep you relieved. So, find out the cost of the program to the company and compare it with the assured ROI. This will help you know if you’re choosing the right Image Consulting professional.
Finding the right image consulting firm
Moreover, the pricing approach matters too. While some Image Consulting companies or professionals may have a fixed pricing approach, some may have a flexible one. So, if you’re making advance payments, check for refunds or flexible payment options.
Check How They Present Themselves - Conduct a meeting with them to see how they present themselves and their brand. Share your requirements with them and ask for their opinion and know how they can help you. If they are good and experienced, they will have a reliable initial plan for your company. And if you leave the meeting impressed, know that they can be trusted.
Most importantly, talk to them to know if they are subject matter experts. You must take your time and do your research because you don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and looking just to build their portfolio. Make sure you completely trust the Image Consulting business before you hire them.
An award-winning Image Management Professional, Suman Agarwal has helped students, home-makers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need of image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options. Write to her at [email protected] to seek advanced career guidance.