The power of networking is common knowledge nowadays. What’s not so common is knowing how to consistently and effectively do it. Networking is simple, but far from easy … it takes preparation and practice.
So let’s look at a few questions you can ask to build rapport with a prospect:
How did you get involved in …?
People like to tell their story … in some cases people feel like they are not heard, so it can be a really positive experience for them to share. Give them an opportunity to do so while you listen attentively and they’ll love you.
What do you love/enjoy most about what you do?
This question keeps happy feelings in the air. And just in case you’re wondering whether or not it’s a good idea to ask what a person likes the least about what he or she does, the answer is no, unless you’re in the same line of work or major. In which case, the answer will help you to find a common enemy IF you dislike the same things. If not, then disagreement ensues. My advice is to keep it positive whenever possible.
What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in your business?
People love to share war stories, but seldom get a chance to finish them because others interrupt with their own stories. When you ask this question resist the temptation to interject your own horror tale. Remember – “let the other person do a great deal of the talking.”
What do you see as the coming trends in your profession/area of expertise?
This is a great question to learn more about how well they know their industry and can also lead into some very interesting conversations.
What would make someone the ideal employee for your company or organization?
The information you glean from this answer is priceless. It will allow you to give a person exactly what he or she wants. It will also help you to position yourself as a great asset to the person and his company.