Why are we discussing networking on a blog that usually deals with social media, web design, marketing, advertising, and graphic design?
That’s easy–we all have to network at some time.
Getting a job, keeping a job, working with others–it is all about networking and personal communication.
It is rule one that people like to talk about themselves. Networking tells us that people refer business to people they know, like, and respect. When you genuinely show interest in others and give them the time to tell their story and explain their business, your stock automatically rises in their eyes.
Here are some questions you can discuss with others, most of which were suggested by networking guru Ivan Misner . . .
What do you like most about what you do?
If you’ve networked before, you already know that “What do you do?” is one of the first questions people ask. you.
Imagine how much better it works if you follow up with this question:
“Oh, that’s interesting. What do you like most about the [fill in the blank] business?”
This leads to more interesting conversation about the other person’s business–the likes and dislikes, experiences, pros and cons, etc. Conversation will start to flow and you can be all ears.
This person will probably ask you the same question, so be ready with a good response that explains how you’re different from others in your industry and shows you unique selling proposition.
You mentioned that you were in the [industry]. What got you started in that industry and why did you choose to do what you do?
Again, another question that creates a strong relationship foundation as you listen.
Where else do you usually network?
This question provides the other person valuable information she/he may not have known, on a topic relevant to him or her.
You are also getting information that will help you and you can provide other networking places you frequent as well. It is a win/win question.
How can I help you?
Being helpful is the best way to start building a solid relationship.
For an experienced person who works with others in networking, this is a question that comes naturally from one who has the mindset of offering value and service to others without any thought of immediate return.
It demonstrates that you have the other person’s interests foremost in your mind, and it’s an excellent way to build the credibility and trust necessary for a valuable networking partnership.
What other questions do you find helpful in networking? Please comment below with your thoughts.
Ivan Misner offers more networking advice HERE. Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author and the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. His newest book, Networking Like a Pro, can be viewed at www.IvanMisner.com. Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company.