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Computer Consulting: Weeding Out Time Wasters

When youíre in the computer consulting business, youíre selling your personality, youíre selling your charisma, and youíre certainly selling your business knowledge. Most specifically, however, at the end of the day, you are selling your time. You canít afford to waste it. You need to be able to account for every hour that you spend, regardless of whether itís billable, whether itís sales function, whether itís prospecting, or whether itís administrative. In this article you'll learn how to determine whether a service call is a good use of your time. Computer Consulting: Is It an Emergency? If youíre looking at how to weed out the time wasters to work more efficiently, you need to know what their sense of urgency is as soon as you hear from them: over the phone, email, or in person. Maybe itís a server down issue thatís crippling 27 workers and completely destroying the productivity of the company. Thatís a pretty strong sense of urgency. Or maybe it is something more mundane that they donít seem that excited or concerned about, like maybe a link is not working between a salespersonís gold mine and a PDA. Something that affects one person in the company isn't be a big deal. So, figuring out their sense of urgency is a very important way to point out the time wasters. Computer Consulting: What is Their Budget? Another big way to weed out the time wasters is to know what their budget is going into it. If theyíre broke and they donít have any money, guess what? Youíre wasting your time. Put them on a follow-up list for three to six months to find out if they have more money to spend on IT. If theyíre broke and they have no money, youíre wasting your time. Computer Consulting: Are You Being Tactful? You can't go around saying, "Gee Bob, Iíd like to help you, but are you broke? Do you have money?Ē A much more subtle way of doing this is to ask if they get computer consulting support now? How have they gotten it in the past? If they've only used volunteers or moonlighters at bargain basement rates, you'll know they donít have a big IT budget. However, if you find out theyíre working with another VAR, with another someone that you consider a legitimate competitor of yours that would charge a legitimate professional rate, then you can make the assumption that they have the funds in their IT budget to use you. Computer Consulting: How Much Pain Are They In? Whatís their pain and can you pitch an effective solution to fix it? The Bottom Line about Computer Consulting Remember your time is your inventory, so don't give it away. Guard it very, very carefully. Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 10

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