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Small Business Consulting: Overcoming Client Denial

When working in small business consulting, your clients may ask, "Why do I need something as big and powerful as the network youíre recommending? Weíre just a seven person company and our network works great, at least most of the time." "Sell" Fear In this situation, to overcome denial, you often have to "sell" fear. Be ready to talk about a small business consulting client that trusted their PC-savvy bookkeeper so much, that the bookkeeper was covering her trails daily and able to embezzle $50K before getting caught during an annual audit by their CPA. Only naÔve clients believe in trusting every employee and for that matter every non-employee who has physical access to the building. Get Clients Thinking about Security In reality though, small business owners rarely think about IT security until itís too late. Make sure you get your small business consulting prospects and clients thinking about how much access should be granted. Get your prospects and clients thinking about sensitive files such as credit card numbers, social security numbers (in the U.S.), trade secrets, payroll data or annual employee reviews. Determine Client Needs When small business clients say they think your proposed client/server network is overkill, they might not be thinking of the big picture. Thatís all the more reason to take the small business consulting client through a comprehensive initial consultation, needs analysis, IT audit and site survey. Many times a small business owner might ask just for file sharing or e-mail. If you press further, however, youíll discover they also really need a contact management system, group scheduling, network faxing, a company Intranet and secure, high-speed Web browsing from each desktop. The Bottom Line about Small Business Consulting If small business consulting clients insist they have no need for data security, you probably havenít probed deeply enough. Find out where the client stores its client lists, proprietary pricing models, payroll forecasts, bonus calculations, credit card data and social security numbers. Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 10

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