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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

IT Consulting: What Defines a Sweet Spot Client?

While there is no set definition in IT consulting of a sweet spot client, there are some signs that will tell you whether a prospect is a candidate. Ask the following questions to determine which of your clients will be long-term relationship material:

1. Is the client’s business expanding? When the company opens another office, they will need PCs, servers and telecommunications capabilities, giving you as an IT consulting expert an excellent opportunity.
2. What communications technology does the prospect have? Does the client have a specific phone system, such as PBX? You can develop good relationships with phone retailers that might lead to referrals and IT consulting partnering opportunities. If the company has an e-mail domain and is looking to improve spam filtering, firewalls and other security issues, you have a huge IT consulting opportunity on your hands. If the company also has a dedicated server and dedicated Internet, even better.
3. Is the company dependent upon online sales? Once the prospect goes beyond micro small business and begin to add the real server, the company will have much more advanced IT needs that will drive them into position to become a sweet spot IT consulting client. If the client relies on online sales for business and the system goes down, a great deal of money will be lost, as much as potentially tens of thousands of dollars. Once the company is doing that much business, IT will become critically important, and the business will listen to you as a professional IT consulting expert.
4. What industries are the best fits for IT consulting? The healthcare, financial services and natural services industries all rely heavily on IT consulting. Don’t exclude other industries, but these are the best for finding strong sweet spot candidates.
5. Are there multiple locations? If the candidate has a branch office or far-away locations, they will probably need more advanced set-ups. The more people the company has working remotely, the more it will need setups like VPNs or remote access, which is where your IT consulting firm will enter the picture.
6. Has the company paid for IT consulting previously? If the company has worked with Bars, solution providers, integrators, technology providers or professional consulting firms in the past, it will be more likely to spend money on your IT consulting firm and become a strong sweet spot client.

Blogged By: Computer Consulting Kit