If you've been in the small business computer consulting industry for more than 10 minutes, you've probably already encountered a fair amount of freeloaders.
Regardless of whether you call these folks moochers, tightwads, cheapskates, tire-kickers, cherry-pickers, or time vampires, left unchecked these vultures can wreak financial and emotional havoc on virtually any small business computer consulting firm.
In this article, we'll look at what your small business computer consulting company can do to protect itself against freeloaders and other time and financial leaches.
The Root of the Problem
So where does the problem with freeloaders really originate? And how can you handle prospects that have unrealistic expectations of what professional computer consulting services should cost?
What it boils down to is this: You need to be able to convince prospects that hiring your small business computer consulting firm is an investment (not an expense) in their business.
In other words, the tangible, concrete, measurable and irrefutable benefits of what your computer consulting firm delivers must far outweigh their out-of-pocket costs.
Think about it… Would you make an investment in your computer consulting company if you didn't see how the benefits were greater than the costs?
Back-of-the-Napkin Prediction Tool for Small Business Computer Consulting
Now because you're selling a highly specialized computer consulting service, your sales message and value proposition will be different than your competitor down the street.
However, you can dramatically tip the scales in your firm’s favor by paying attention to one really universal way to avoid the computer consulting moochers.
Simply, look for small business decision makers that are used to paying for other professional B2B (business-to-business) services, such as accounting services, legal services, public relations (PR) services, or marketing consulting.
That means this kind of small business is already used to investing in highly skilled $100+/hour professional services. The notion of having a professional services provider on a retainer arrangement, say $1,000/month or more, is not a foreign concept.
Work Hard or Work Smart?
Remember, it's much, much easier and much more time-effective for you or your sales staff to go after qualified leads and prospects than it is to try to talk an unqualified lead or prospect into needing something that the lead or prospect doesn't perceive to need.
And don't forget, that right in your local area, there are probably already be tons (at least hundreds, if not thousands) of leads and prospects for you that have real computer consulting needs, are used to paying for professional computer consulting-related services, and have at least semi-realistic expectations about the price-tag on professional computer consulting services.
So don't waste your time on those suffering from small business computer consulting sticker shock. Don't waste your time on professional computer consulting moochers and tightwads.
Focus on those small businesses that are accustomed to paying for other professional B2B services and your sales cycle and sales process will go much, much smoother.
The Bottom Line
Want to learn how you can most effectively reach those small businesses that have realistic expectations, and desperately need your firm’s small business computer consulting services?
To learn how you can develop an effective computer consulting marketing plan for reaching these small businesses, how to take these small businesses through the sales cycle, and how to move these small businesses from one-time-customer to long-term steady, high-paying client, be sure to take advantage of the free one hour computer consulting business training at http://www.computerconsultingblog.com
Joshua Feinberg is a 15-year veteran of small business computer consulting and an internationally recognized expert on small business computer consulting. He has appeared in dozens of business and IT trade publications including CRN, VARBusiness, Microsoft Direct Access, TechRepublic, American Express OPEN Platinum Ventures, Entrepreneur, Inc, SCORE, Small Business Computing, and USA Today. To learn more about Joshua’s proven sales and marketing strategies for smart small business computer consulting firms, visit his Web site and sign up for the free one-hour computer consulting training recording at http://www.computerconsultingblog.com