Here are a few basic principles and questions to help you make your decision as the client.Does the consultancy/agency have a track record that shows evidence of having solved problems or met needs similar to your own?Do their Values align to yours?Do you respect their business philosophy and culture, and is it in line with yours?Check their consultancy/agency client list and find. How long have individual clients have been with them? Long term relationships speak volumes.Ask if their staff are members of professional bodies, as these typically have rigorous entry requirements for membership and all members must abide by a professional code of practice. You need to be confident in their ethics and integrity.Ask to talk to some of the consultancy/agency clients to get a sense of their character and how they work; if they deliver; the quality of their work, and their client satisfactionAsk about their processes and approaches to workAsk how they will measure your Return on InvestmentLook at their business continuity and stability - you want to ensure they will be here for the long haul and are stable enough to be a long erm partner to you. Ask if they have any faced any legal or reputational challenges and do your own reconnaissance checks where possibleAsk two or three shortlisted consultants to respond to your brief, which should include your objectives, resources, constraints and budget. This will allow you to weigh your options and make a final decision. The above are just a few areas to look into when making your choice. A clear procurement process take these factors and others into consideration.