IT Consultant: Know when to say "You're Fired"

Ever tried to talk to someone and felt like you can’t get a word in? It can be extremely frustrating in any discussion. You just wish the person would be quiet for a minute and listen to what you have to say.

listenMany times companies trying to sell you a product do the same thing. Here’s how it goes: you’ve been tasked to build a wireless network in your hospital, which means you now have to go through the pain of selecting a wireless consultant to help you build and integrate the solution.   You set an initial meeting to talk. Before you get the words “Hospital Wireless Network” out of your mouth the sales person takes over and 45 minutes later (when they stop to take a breath), you’ve heard about everything from their company’s stock price to what kind of materials they use to manufacture their product, to the available colors. You wonder if they have any idea what the heck your project actually is.

Here are the top two reasons to cut the meeting short and call someone else:

1)   They aren't listening to you- in the initial meeting about any technology project the company representative should be there to understand your business, your project, your budget, and your goals. They should show up with something to take notes with and should have thoughtful questions prepared to understand what you are trying to accomplish. How can anyone recommend a solution without this basic knowledge of your environment?

2)    Product Focus vs. Solutions Focus- companies sell products. Many of those products are very good ones- when used to solve the issue they were designed to solve.  We’ve seen companies selling wireless lans designed for outdoor environments push them into a hospital wireless network. The product is a good one, but not in that environment. Now the customer is faced with replacing the entire wireless lan system with no money to do so.

The client trusted the IT consultant, but the consultant didn’t listen, understand the need, and recommend a solution that is best for the customer. Please don’t let this happen to you!

Have more horror stories about consultants or something to add? Feel free to comment below.
Philip Wegner

Philip Wegner

Philip is the founder and CEO of SecurEdge Networks. He’s the consummate strategist and frequently writes for the strategy blog. You can follow him at @philipwegner