You’re at a business networking event. You’ve mastered your body language, you’ve read all the business networking books you can get your hands on and now it’s time to actually talk to people at a business networking event. And that means starting a conversation that’s meaningful and not a half-hearted:
What can you say that generates a conversation and makes you both look interesting? And it cannot be run of the mill conversations like “What do you do for a living”. You need nice, open-ended questions that enable a business conversation without sounding like an interrogation. You could also ask how they heard about the event.
Well don’t panic, 1230 TWC have got your back. Here are 10 conversation generators that will get the conversation flowing nicely, but obviously you don’t need to ask them all at once!
The first question is a great one because it enables you to think about who you can connect to the person you’re networking with, when you follow it up with question two, you’re clarifying exactly who they love to work with. Question three enables you to identify who can help from your own network, if help is desired of course. These three questions alone will enable you to build your network and make attractive introductions.
That’s 10 conversations starters! What about three more to really get your conversations going? Try:
I recommend you ask the last three when you have built up a rapport with the networker. To ask them straight away will make it look like you’re assessing their value to your network, and it’s based on their response!
The simplest, I find most effective is “Tell me about you.”
Wishing you many happy business networking conversations
PS What questions would you add to the list?
Jackie Groundsell is known as the queen of women's business networking lunches - the connector. She supports thousands of small business owners through her events and lunch-time meetings