You know how it usually goes when you attend a networking event …
YOU: Hi, I’m Fred.
THEM: Hi Fred, I’m Joe – what do you do?
Followed by an exchange of what we do, where we do it, who we do it for … and so on.
One of the reasons people have become jaded by networking as a means of promoting their business is that this type of exchange has become so predictable – and unhelpful.
We never really get to know the other person and it sets up an environment that feels like we’re all simply putting people in boxes and deciding if they are worth spending any more time with.
So, if you feel like shaking this up a bit next time you attend a networking function, you’d prefer to actually enjoy getting to know someone at a little deeper level – and you struggle for how to start a different kind of conversation, here’s five great Conversation Starters you can use!
- “Hi – I’m Fred … and you’re …? Hi, Joe – what made you decide to attend this event tonight?”
- “Hi there … this is the first time I’ve been to this event … have you been before?”If the answer is no, then you can use Question 1!If their answer is yes, then ask “How long have you been coming and what do you enjoy about these events?”
- Once you learn what someone does/what their profession is ask “What are some of your favourite things about your work?”Or … “what attracted you to that type of work initially?”
- “If I had a magic wand and could fix one frustration you have in your work, what would that be?”
- “If I was able to refer someone to you, what type of person is your most profitable ideal client to have?”
The key to all these conversation starters is to have thought of some questions you can ask that will get the other person talking.
And the best questions to ask are the open questions that start with the words what, how and why.
A little preparation and practice is all you need. Then you’ll quickly find you’re a unique networking pro and enjoying this experience of connecting with others so much more!
Shattering Glass Ceilings