Without any risk, there is no reward. I watched a video recently that centered around not being afraid to ask. In the video, Steve Jobs was featured calling Hewlett Packard and asking for parts to build a frequency counter. The result? They gave him the parts and a job at 12 years old. That’s a great story for consultants to dive into. If you want business, you can’t be afraid to ask for business.
If you don’t shoot for the yes, you’re never going to achieve the yes. When we hear stories, like the Steve Jobs / HP story, we realize that you can’t be afraid to ask. There are a few different situations at play here. The first thing that you have to remind yourself is that asking isn’t begging. It doesn’t mean that you’re not successful if you are asking for business. It means that you are invested enough to build new business and opportunity.
As a consultant, you are building yourself up as an expert in your industry. In order to effectively consult for other people and businesses, you should be a trusted expert and advisor. For some reason, even after we become an expert at what we do, the same dread is still associated in asking for business. What you have to remember, as a consultant, is that you’ve built yourself up to be a trusted and valued part of your industry. You are an esteemed commodity.
What comes with that? Well, for one, more people will be interested in hiring you on than you think. Once you have industry expertise, knowledge, experience, and great business relationships under your belt, you are truly an asset to those around you. Often times, people may not be aware that you are taking on additional clients or that they would be a good fit for you. They won’t know until you tell them. They can’t answer you until you ask.
Most people don’t get the types of experiences that Steve Jobs got with the HP opportunity. You have to seize opportunities as they are presented. This includes asking for business –whether you want to or not. The secret is to make the call. Ask the question. Take the risk of rejection.
What are your thoughts on asking for business? How does this apply to consultants? Comment below!