Asking questions is the lifeblood of networking. Much like sales, asking the right questions leads to a favorable outcome. The key is knowing what questions to ask. The following questions are basic, but notice how they are open ended questions. The key is getting a person to talk. The more they talk, the more comfortable they feel. When comfort is achieved, that’s how a network connection is created.
Ask About Experience
An easy way to get started is asking someone how long they’ve worked in their particular industry. This allows them to talk about their experience and it allows the questioner to pursue multiple roads of inquiry upon hearing the answer. A longer answer means a person is happy in their industry, and that is usually an answer begging for follow-ups.
Ask About Enjoyment
Most people at a networking event are not going to be unhappy with their profession. They’re looking to add to their network and being ill-natured won’t do it. Therefore, a great question to ask is about the thing or things most enjoyable about the job. Usually a person will launch into a specific achievement while others may be more generalized. The goal is to see what they say. If the answer is general, ask about what their best success has been. If the answer is about a specific success, ask about the process creating the success.
Ask About the Next Event
This question is really simple, ask when is the next time you’ll see the person at an event like this one. It’s a very simple question and instead of asking a yes/no “if” question, when gets the other person’s implicit agreement to see you at the meeting. This is a simple yet effective way to fortify an emerging networking connection.
There are many other tips to learn about networking. Check them out @ NETWORKLEADEXCHANGE.COM.