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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Advice for Computer Consulting Professionals: Get Rid of Prospects That Will Waste Time

In the computer consulting business, you need to sell your personality, charisma and business knowledge. But when all is said and done, you are selling your time, and it can’t be wasted. You should be able to track every hour you spend, regardless of whether it is billable, sales-related, prospecting-related or simply administrative. You need to know what work will be most worth your time and energy.


If you want to eliminate computer consulting projects that will be a waste of your time and be more efficient, you need to immediately determine the sense of urgency as soon as you speak to prospects and clients, whether on the phone, via email or in person. The problem could be a down server affecting 27 employees and annihilating company productivity, and this constitutes an emergency and something well worth your attention.

However, the issue could just be something the client or prospect doesn’t find too urgent, such as a faulty link between a salesperson’s computer and a PDA. A problem affecting one person is not a major issue.


You need to determine a prospect or client’s budget immediately. If the company is broke, you are wasting your time even investigating the problem, though you can put the person on a follow-up list and call in three to six months to find out if there is more money to spend on IT.


You have to be subtle when asking questions about a prospect’s ability to hire you. Ask if the company currently gets computer consulting support or how it has been received in the past. If the company has only previously used volunteers or moonlighters at bargain rates there is probably not a very large IT budget.

If you determine the company is working with another VAR or someone that is a competitor of yours, you can assume you are hirable and should proceed accordingly.


Most importantly and finally ask yourself, “In how much pain is this prospect?” The more issues the client is having, the more likely you and your computer consulting business can be of service.

Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg