GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group) glg.it/services FEE
They have a network of ~500,000 experts (“Council Members”) they can connect you with. You need to engage them (typically for one year at a time), and they help your company find the right experts for multiple projects. You normally have a one-hour phone consultation with each expert… and can expand this if you like.
Like GLG, they set up phone consultations with industry experts (“Advisors”). The main difference is that they don’t maintain a network of experts; rather they do a fresh search for experts based on your specific project needs. Many of their experts are currently employed (and are required to avoid disclosing confidential info).
Zintro has a network of 130,000 industry experts (“Advisors”), and also conducts dedicated searches for specialized experts. They offer both self- and full-service expert searching, and do not require annual contracts. They claim to offer significant savings over competitors, with one-hour expert consultations averaging $500-1000 each.
Like GLG and AlphaSights, they set up phone consultations with industry experts (“Advisors”). In addition, they can support your market research by conducing surveys and setting up events, e.g. teleconferences, custom events, and breakfast or lunch meetings at industry conferences.
ORC has a network of ~13,000 experts in ~30,000 areas of expertise. Their experts tend to be technically-oriented, although some have business experience. These experts are available for short phone consultations as well as longer engagements.
Their industry expert network is comprised of retired professionals. Industries covered include biopharma/biotech, medical, consumer goods, food, beverage & nutrition and consumer health. To get started, you submit a request stating your needs.
Contact the trade association(s) relevant for your target market and ask their office for independent consultants in their association. This database is free and contains ~35,000 associations… but only in the US. Google searches can lead you to other lists of associations, including one in Wikipedia.
It’s considered bad form to promote yourself on this network of professionals. But if you’re a LinkedIn member, it’s perfectly fine to search for experts you’re going to pay. Go to Search > People and click “All Filters.” Then use the “Industries” field to search a pre-defined industry. From there make your connection.