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Monday, February 20, 2006

Computer Consulting: Eliminate Time Wasters

As a professional in the computer consulting business, you are selling a multitude of your skills, including your personality, charisma and knowledge of business. But above all else, you are selling your time, which cannot afford to be squandered on anything that does not contribute to your services and clients.

EMERGENCIES

In order to dismiss prospects that will simply be a waste of time, you need to get a clear sense of the urgency of their needs the minute you first make contact, whether on the phone or via email. If they have an immediate and critical problem that has shut down business or crippled it to a point that productivity has been compromised, that constitutes a very urgent need. But their issue could also be something they do not sound that worked up about, such as a link that is not working or an employee’s device that isn’t connecting properly to a particular system. Something that affects one person in a company is probably not worth a rush as it will not lead to long term relationships.

WHAT IS THE BUDGET?

Another way to identify and eliminate those that will sap your time is to be aware of their budget from the beginning. If the client simply does not have the money for your services, the project is not even a possibility. You don’t necessarily need to write off this type of client; put the company on a six-month follow-up list and check in later to see if there is money for your computer consulting services at a later date.

TACT GOES A LONG WAY

An important thing to remember when investigating time wasters is your own tact. You need to be sensitive to prospects’ needs, particularly when addressing issues such as budget and the urgency of their needs. Don’t make a client feel you are judging their ability to assess a problem, even if the problem to you does not seem dire. Ask a series of questions to gauge ability to afford your services. If he has only used amateur support, you know the budget is not big. However, if you find out the company is using a competitor of yours, you know they do have the funds to afford your computer consulting services, and you can proceed accordingly.

The last thing you should think about is how much pain the client is in, and what you can provide to solve the problem. Computer consulting is a service industry, and you need to make sure that you eliminate the time wasters and put your best effort into clients that will give you future revenue.

Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg