business networking

Questions to Ask While Business Networking

Business networking conversations will be more rewarding if you ask more engaging questions than:  “What do you do?”, “How’s business?”  Closed-ended questions like those don’t easily lead themselves to follow-up questions after you’ve both answered them.  Therefore, you should be asking open-ended questions that are engaging and allow you to connect with the people you are networking with.

Fortunately, there are guidelines to follow, letting you be a step ahead as you set out to an upcoming networking event.

Relationship Building Questions

Select questions that are engaging as well as informative. Questions that let you learn more about the people at the event have the potential to lead to new business relationships.

  • “What’s the biggest thing you are currently working on?”
  • “What problem does your company solve?”
  • “How you are doing that?”
  • “What’s the most unique aspect of your work?”

Asking these questions, allows you to learn about a person’s approach to business and to see how you can provide and extract value from that business relationship.

Be Helpful

These questions may help you build a bond by being helpful or aiding with an issue.

  • “Who would you like to meet at this event?”
  • “What are your biggest work challenges currently?”
  • “What can I do to help?”

But don’t just ask. You must mean it. And if someone does ask for your help, take action. This will separate you from the others and ultimately lead to referrals and opportunities to do more business.

Be Supportive

To get someone interested in you, get them talking about their accomplishments.

  • What is going well for you right now?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment this year?

These questions build connection and rapport while business networking.  Be sure to listen closely as they share their good news with you.   They will be so happy to be heard they will ask you questions, as well.

Business Networking Wrap-up

Never go straight into a sales pitch when you spot an opportunity at a business networking event.  A better approach is to put that opportunity to the side for when you have built up a rapport.  After you have gained trust and interest, you may say something like “We obviously have a synergy here. How about I give you a call next week to learn a bit more about your business and we may be able to help each other?”

 

 

Click here to read 3 Questions to Ask on LinkedIn