How do I ask my contacts from my previous job for work? I am trying to start a consulting business in a field I worked in for 14 years. I have many contacts on Linkedin that I could consult for. Whats the best way to approach this?
One technique that has been very successful for me in the past was not to ask my contacts directly for work, but rather to tell them about my new venture - what I am doing, how I'm different, and who my target market is - then to ask them for two things: Advice and Referrals. Ask them who you should talk to that could use the services you provide.
This does a couple of things. First, if your contact needs your service, you have told them what you do and have started them thinking about you in terms of that service and they can volunteer that information to you when you ask for the referral. Second, you've told them that you consider them an important networking contact and a good source of advice. And third, you've asked for referrals and will most likely get one or more from each of your existing contacts.
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