We’ve been in this business long enough to see many a good person saddled with a bad consultant. The problem is knowing the difference before you hire them.

Ask these six questions to help you separate the best from the rest:

How do we do it?

1. Will you take the time to understand my business?

Ask for specific examples from their past and listen carefully to the depth of their understanding.

2. Do you have deep experience across many categories from which you draw inspiration?

Ask for the list—the best boast experience in 100 or more highly-diverse categories.

3. How many new product projects have you worked on, both as an insider and as a consultant?

Each project teaches something new; less than a couple hundred projects in the boat means they still have lots to learn. It’s not your job to teach them.

4. Will I be working with your senior people?

Don’t get sucked in by famous founders who pawn you off on no-name neophytes.

5. Will you commit to working on my project as long as it takes for me to be satisfied with the outcome?

If they say, “what do you mean by that?” or hesitate for even a second, take note.

6. Can you give me examples of companies who’ve hired you multiple times?

If they can’t name several companies who’ve hired them more than 30 times, either they’re inexperienced (forgivable) or they’ve failed to perform (unforgivable).

Companies or individuals who satisfy all six questions are highly likely to leave you with a positive outcome. In our case, we guarantee it.