PC Hardware: How Ego Can Cost Your Clients

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PC hardware is a tempting place for CFOs to overspend. Help guide your clients to cost-effective and appropriate purchases in PC hardware.

Your clients might be tempted to outfit their top managers and producers with the latest and greatest PC hardware. After all, a CFO or senior account manager has a tremendous amount riding on his or her daily performance and productivity. But they need to consider better ways to spend their money.

What Does Your Client Really Need?

Look carefully at clients’ software application requirements before you allow their "emotional" needs to drive tech PC hardware purchases. If a client’s CFO spends most of a typical day crunching numbers in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and communicating via e-mail in Microsoft Outlook, he or she really has only very basic PC hardware requirements.

Would Their Money Be Spent Better Elsewhere?

As virtual CIO to this client, you may find at least a dozen financial software-related projects you could work on for this CFO that would bring greater bottom-line results than an ego-driven PC hardware purchase.

These consulting projects will be infinitely more profitable to your consulting firm than the slim profit margin on a high-end, commodity-like desktop PC hardware purchase.

What about Notebook PCs?

Also help your clients keep their egos in check with notebook purchases. Your clients can get some really useful multimedia features in high-end notebooks in the $4,000 to $5,000 price range.

But if the CEO of one of your main clients merely wants to access e-mail remotely, you easily could equip him or her with a reliable, high-performance, brand-name notebook for one-third to one-half of that price.

Use Your Knowledge To Help Your Clients

As your clients’ virtual CIO and technology visionary, you have an awesome responsibility. Don’t allow clients’ objective judgments and technology budgets to get seduced by superfluous bells and whistles - especially when these bells and whistles take away from technology spending that can have a much greater impact than PC hardware purchases.

When in doubt, ask yourself this basic question:

"If my client took the $5,000 that was about to be spent on the "Rolls Royce" of notebooks and reallocated the amount toward computer consulting services, what kind of an impact on their business could my firm make with a $5,000 budget for a consulting project?"

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