Ten Networking Questions That Work Every Time
(I am using the community newspaper business as an example - any business or industry works)
1. How did you get started in the community newspaper business? People like to be the movie of the week in someone else’s mind. They will share their story with you while you actively listen.
2. What do you enjoy most about the newspaper profession? Again, It’s a question that elicits a good, positive feeling.
3. What advice would you give someone just starting in the newspaper business? This is my mentor question. Don’t we all like to feel like a mentor - to feel that our answers matter.
4. What one thing would you do with your business if you knew you could not fail? This is this person’s dream and it will give them a chance to fantasize. You will notice that people will always take a few minutes to really ponder their answer.
5. What makes your approach to the industry different? This is an opportunity to do a little bragging.
6. What significant changes have you seen take place in the industry through the years? This is a great question for the mature connection. They love to tell the story of change.
7. What do you see as the coming trends in our industry? This is a great speculator question. Everyone has some ideas that elicits additional comments.
8. Describe the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in the newspaper business. This gives people the opportunity to share their war stories. It’s fun and you can exchange with everyone!
9. What ways have you found to be the most effective ways to promote your business? Again, it accentuates the positive in this person’s mind. You are not looking for secrets, merely admiring their business acumen.
10. What one sentence would you like people to use in describing the way you do business? Almost always a person will stop and think really hard before answering this question. What a compliment you have paid . You’ve asked a question that, quite possibly the people closest to him have never though enough to ask!
The following are fun ways to break the ice at any networking event. It gives people a chance to learn something about new about even the oldest acquaintance. Have fun, and build better business relationships while you enjoy the conversation!
Dream Vacation - Ask everyone to introduce themselves and describe their ideal vacation.
It will give everyone the opportunity to find out if they have common interests when it comes to time off.
Favourite animal - Ask everyone to name their favourite animal. Ask for 3 adjectives that describe that animal. Example - dog - golden retriever - loyal, friendly, playful. Then suggest that they use these adjectives in describing themselves.
Birthday Partner - Find someone in the group whose birthday, not year is closest to them. Find two things they have in common.
Name game - find three adjectives that use the first letter of your first name. Use these in conjunction with your position.