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Guides
5 min

The ultimate guide to expert network firms

Learn about expert network firms and what you can do to find the best one for your business

GrapeData
Nov 19, 2022
B2B market research
B2C market research

Introduction

The digital age has made it easier than ever to find and connect with experts in your field. While there are many ways to do this, expert network firms can be a great way to connect with professionals who share your interests and goals. Expert networks are a type of matchmaking service that connects you with experts from a variety of industries in order to give your business an edge over the competition. But what exactly is an expert network? How do they work? And how can you get started with one today? Get answers to all these questions and more in this article. 

What are expert network firms?

Expert network firms are companies that connect experts with businesses. They're also called knowledge marketplaces because they help you find the right expert for your project. The rise of knowledge work and dissemination of information through the internet are some factors contributing to the popularity of these firms.

These firms work by creating an online database of experts in various fields, usually organised geographically so that clients can find someone close by to talk to. The companies then manage the process of vetting and connecting these experts to clients who need their expertise.

The experts may be independent contractors or full-time employees, but the firms are responsible for managing the relationship between them and their clients. This includes screening applicants to ensure that they have the right credentials and experience. Additionally, they also have to make sure that experts are available at a reasonable rate. Learn more about the value and history of these firms in Net Interest’s article here.

Why do companies use expert networks?

Expert networks are used by companies to gain access to industry experts. These experts have valuable insights and experience that can help improve the company's performance.

Companies use expert networks because they:

  • Find new customers or partners. Expert networks can help you identify new customers or partners who would find your products or services interesting. By tapping experts in the field, you can build relationships with potential buyers in your target market. In addition, you can learn more about their needs so that you can develop effective sales approaches for them. They also allow you to get information about how other companies are addressing similar challenges to yours. This information makes it easier for both parties when working together in the future (for example if one party wants another's business).
  • Improve sales process efficiency by allowing sales representatives access through an online portal where they can search profiles based on criteria like industry expertise level or geographic location; then connect with these individuals via email or phone call or chat sessions until they get enough leads before moving onto another profile type. This process helps them reach their quota goals in order to maximise return on investment (ROI).

How do I find the right expert network firm for my business?

Finding the right expert network firm for your business can be a challenge. But if you do some research and consider these factors, you'll be able to find one that meets all of your needs.

  • Research the reputation of each firm.
  • Ask for references from people who have used their services in the past, and speak with them directly to get an idea of what they thought of it. Ask how much value they got out of working with this expert network firm, what sort of tasks they were assigned, and how satisfied they were overall with their experience using this company's services.
  • Consider how much experience each expert network firm has in dealing with companies like yours. The size and type will make a difference when determining whether or not this is someone who knows enough about what makes businesses like yours tick.
  • Look at their client list and see how many companies like yours they've worked with. If a firm doesn't have any clients similar to yours, then it may not be the best fit for your business.

How do you get started with an expert network firm?

First things first, you'll want to match your business needs with the expert network firm's offerings. You should do this by looking at their website or speaking with someone from the team. This will give you a sense of whether or not they're going to be able to help your company grow and expand its reach in the marketplace.

Next, it's important for a prospective client like yourself to find out which experts are available on their platform. The best way for them to do this is through an online directory that lists all of their consultants' credentials and specialties. However, there are many other ways as well (such as emailing the firm directly). Remember that no matter how much research goes into finding the right one, always keep open lines of communication throughout any relationship.

What should I expect during the expert network call?

First, expect to be asked a lot of questions. The expert network firm will want to know about your business and what you are looking for in an expert. They'll also ask about your competitors, which should tell them whether or not it would be useful for them to introduce you to someone who can help with your project.

It's a good idea to prepare some questions in advance yourself so that you're ready when they contact you. 

Remember that the expert call will only last a short while, and you should try to get as much information as possible to help reach your project goals. If they ask if you have any questions, be sure to prepare any questions you have in advance. Creating a two-way line of communication will help them understand your needs better.

Can I prepare for the call in advance?

It is a good idea to prepare for an expert network call in advance. The more information you have on hand, the more valuable your time will be when speaking with your contact.

  • Research the topic and person(s) you'll be speaking with. It's important to do this so that you can have thoughtful questions ready and also helps you save time.
  • Make notes about what you would like to ask or learn during the call. If there are particular concepts or ideas that interest you, make sure they're front and centre before the call begins.
  • Think about how your expertise fits into the conversation at hand. In addition, think about what other topics could benefit from being brought up.

Finally, be prepared to follow up with a thank you note or email after the call. It's always nice to let your contact know that you appreciate their time and expertise.

Expert network firms can give your business an edge over the competition

Expert network firms can help you find the right people. They connect you to people who provide relevant information for your business so that you can develop growth or investment strategies. The sharing of information helps create a feedback loop that can form the basis of a problem statement that a company is looking to solve.  Expert networks provide value to corporates and professional services firms in the following ways:-

1. They save these companies time by matching relevant experts to specific requirements of their research project

2. Reputable expert network firms conduct a thorough vetting process of these subject matter experts

3. They have a quick result delivery time, thus creating time efficiencies for corporates.

To add to this, a major problem for sales teams can be the constant hunt for new leads in order to sell more products or services. It's a time-consuming process, and there's no guarantee that their efforts will be fruitful. Often, these leads come from word-of-mouth referrals or networking events where teams meet potential customers face-to-face. However, not every team has the time or resources to attend these types of meetings. Expert network firms can help provide access to a large database of prospects who are eager to buy what you have to offer. This gives your business an edge over your competitors by putting you on equal footing with them. Thus, expert networks can also be a source of lead generation.

Conclusion

After reading this guide, we hope that you have a better understanding of what expert network firms are, why they're valuable to your business, and how to find the right firm for you. Expert network firms can give your business an edge over the competition in many ways, from helping with research to providing access to industry experts willing to share their knowledge with others. For more information, check out our blog post titled ‘6 Benefits of joining a global expert network to share expert insights’.