I also decided to use an admissions consultant. I spent over a month research different firms. Ultimately, I used Paul Lanzillotti at Amerasia.
I did a couple of pre-emails and pre-calls, specifically with Dan Bauer at MBA Exchange and Aimee Pearlman at MBA Mission. My pre-call with Paul was great - I was looking for a more boutique experience where I felt that I would be more of a focus for the consultant that I might be a larger firm. In a lot of ways I felt that I was a borderline candidate that could really benefit from the help and direction of a boutique admissions consulting firm. My bought the four school program with Paul. My results:
You can't really argue with results. I went into the process with a dream school and that's the school I'm attending.
Paul was very realistic with me during the process. Going in, he thought there were schools I should get into (I did) and a reach school that was my number one that he wasn't so sure about (and I got it). If anything, I would use this as a example of the fact that Paul won't blow smoke up your ass. When you're shopping around for a consultant and he tells you sure, with his help, you can get into HBS and Wharton, sounds good. Paul didn't. He took a realistic approach to my strengths and weakness and helped me frame a story that put me in the best light. Paul is excellent at figuring out what your best story is and how to tell it to admissions committees.
On a side note, one of the most valuable parts of my package with Paul was the interview prep.
I interviewed at three schools and with each his prep was instrumental. We did two - three mock interviews before each interview. I went into each interview with a great sense of the story I wanted to tell the schools. Not only that, but for each school he helped me tailor it to that individual school based on his knowledge of what that school looks for.