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Monday, February 27, 2006

Computer Consulting: Handling the First Sales Meeting

In computer consulting, the initial sales process is really a pre-sales consultation, not a final sale. Because even a successful “sale” on a first phone call or meeting is not final, you need to communicate your professionalism and make an impact so you can distinguish yourself from other computer consulting firms.

Two ways to make an outstanding impression are to take a sincere interest in your potential customer’s business and problems, and get a definite handle on those problems so you can decide if your computer consulting business can provide the appropriate solutions.


Sometimes you may look into a prospect and find out some unfavorable information about the person or their company that makes you not want to engage in a business relationship. The computer consulting sales call is a reciprocal interview. If you encounter some strange or generally peculiar information during the call, in background checks or in the news about the prospect, you may want to get out while you still can. It may seem strange to turn down business, but the time investment you give them before the sales call will be minimal, and you will escape a potentially horrible situation unscathed before it even has a chance to begin.


Before the initial consultation, you will want to take half an hour or a bit more to compile some introductory information to give to your prospect. Even if you are efficient, with driving time, parking, tolls, research and the meeting itself, you will probably spend two or three hours on a client even before you’ve definitely provided them with any real services.

Use the hourly billing rate you are billing out for computer consulting service calls and calculate how much the consultation costs based on that, minus tolls, parking, gas and mileage. You will probably find that this amount really adds up, which is even more of a reason to make sure your prospect is really a good fit before the meeting. Qualifying the client by doing homework about them before-hand will help guarantee that your time and money is not wasted.

Created By: Joshua Feinberg