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and before they can be credible to offer what people need, they're going to need to have some kind of aura around the company to make people believe this is a 'go to' source."Advice from experts is just one quarter of the whole equation when businesses need help. A business looking for help wants somebody to assess where they are, advise them on how they're doing and where they might go, and help them select a new plan or new products that will help them get to where they want to go. They also want somebody to help them implement those things.
"Maybe Round Table Group doesn't have to be a full-fledged consulting company, but it has to offer components of those four things or links to the ones that it doesn't offer. The Internet is a terrific way to provide those links."If it's not going to add bodies to come out and do the actual work, it could have links to people who are local or industry appropriate to the company. If RTG wants to make money, it strikes some kind of arrangement for any referrals."Also, college professors are way down on the list of advisers for most businesspeople. The truth is, in the business community, business experience is much more valuable than theoretical kind of stuff."Create a star-quality team where you can then build a brand around those people. I would do a dream team of professors but not have 3,000 of them. Then I would have a dream team of business-consulting and business-research firms. Then you'd have a real think tank. That's the kind of excitement the firm should create around its service, because otherwise, who cares?"Wendy Handler, an entrepreneurship professor at Babson College in Babson Park, Mass."There are so many great ideas on the Internet right now. People call into radio talk shows for advice. Why not the Internet? But there's a downside to only consulting through the Internet. Clients need more and want more often. A quick fix isn't always enough even when you have the leading experts in the world. If you're a consultant and you're providing ideas that result in major change, it's very, very important to know those people and have a sense of those people and not just be corresponding via a machine. Meaningful change usually involves more than just an information dump."In theory [RTG] is a great idea, but in practice it needs to offer two levels of service: Offer a higher level of service face-to-face if the situation warrants it and if the client and the professor are going to be a good fit. If the client wants more, the professor will enter into a contract to do some more traditional consulting. In moving to this more traditional approach, it doesn't mean that you have to take every client. Some of the professors may only want to be part of the Internet part of the service."When clients are asking for something, you should listen. If you listen, you're following a marketing orientation and not just providing a product."Mr. Rosenzweig's ResponseMr. Rosenzweig bridles at Mr. Santer's suggestion that RTG needs to be more credible and that