When choosing between big consulting firms, take the time to make an informed decision. The most professional method of deciding between several firms for a project or to provide regular products or services is to request a bid, or tender. A tender or bid is a price quote complete with project details and time lines. In addition to having official, detailed information from each company to compare together, you'll also have the exact contact information handy. Plus, only consulting firms interested in working with your company will respond to your bid request.
It's important to not be swayed by the lowest overall price bid, but rather determine the value of each offer. One firm's price may be far lower, but the quality of the materials could be less or some services offered in the other bids may be missing. A thorough analysis of the submitted bid forms of all of the big consulting firms you invited to tender is necessary. This may take several sessions of carefully going over each detail and price point. However, having to research all of the information on your own, even with the help of an assistant, is likely to take much longer than having each consulting firm provide you with its formal bid.
Before you consider a final short list of big consulting firms to invite to submit a bid, take a quick look at their advertising materials or website to make sure their services are a good match with the needs of your company. It doesn't make a difference how large a corporation is if it can't give you the solutions you need. Some business consulting firms specialize in a certain area; if this is the field you're looking for professional advice in, inviting these firms to bid is likely a good idea.
When you've narrowed your consulting firm choices to two or perhaps three, contact the names on these bids. You can inform each consultant you speak with that his or her firm is one of the top three bids you're choosing between. At this point, you can decide which representative of the finalist big consulting firms makes the best impression. However, look beyond any natural charm or sales ability to see who seems the most genuinely interested in your particular business problem. Ask each representative a few questions based on his or her bid submission; after not more than a few days, notify the successful firm as well as the others of your final decision.