At Vegas Networking Pros we can’t emphasize enough that the questions you ask at networking events, and just in general when you meet new people. True networkers understand that networking isn’t limited to an event, it is an all-day every day thing, so practice these questions and be prepared any time you meet someone new, and have your answers ready when someone asks the same question back to you.
1. How did you get into your line of work?
One great rule of thumb is that people really like to talk about themselves. Asking a broad question allows them to do just that. Asking more detailed follow up questions proves you are listening. Make sure to note anything that may be a common thread of interest as this can lead you into a relationship building line of questioning.
2. What do you like best about what you do?
This follow up question is great, because you are expressing interest in the other person. Be prepared to answer the same question, about half the time people turn around and ask the same thing to you. Other great questions include asking about their hardships and challenges, or some of the craziest things they’ve seen in their position.
3. Have you heard about…?
Read the headlines for the day and ask about current topics. We suggest steering clear of political issues and the weather, or you may appear controversial or just plain boring. Also, the topic should interest you, so that you read the entire article and come prepared to discuss it with your opinion. If you don’t watch sports, don’t ask about the Superbowl or Stanley Cup or you could find yourself trapped into a conversation you don’t know much about. Additionally, fans tend to be very one-team focused. You don’t want to talk about a big win when the person you are talking to were on the losing side.
4. What other events do you like to network at?
This is a great one to find out more about other networking events and gain another perspective. Perhaps they enjoy attending an event that you have only considered. Remember that everyone networks differently, and for different reasons. Ask what they liked and didn’t like about it, but consider the findings merely an opinion. Knowing that someone attends a specific event means that you will likely find them there, so you may consider making plans to see them at another event as a way out of the conversation as well.
These questions should help you separate yourself from the crowd, and learn more about fellow networkers. We’d love to hear from you though. Feel free to email us or leave your comments in the section below.
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