Bob Burg, Guest Author
My good friend and networking expert Bob Burg, has 10 questions he personally uses when networking that he believes every networker should memorize.
Bob explains that these questions are not designed to be probing or sales-oriented in any way; they are all friendly, fun to answer, and will tell you something about the way the person answering them thinks. You’ll never need or have the time to ask all 10 questions during any one conversation but, still, you should internalize them. Know them well enough that you are able to ask the ones you deem appropriate for the particular conversation and time frame.
Here are the 10 questions:
1. How did you get started in the (______) business?
2. What do you enjoy most about your profession?
3. What separates you and your company from the competition?
4. What advice would you give someone just starting out in the (______) business?
5. What one thing would you do with your business if you knew you could not fail?
6. What significant changes have you seen take place in your profession through the years?
7. What do you see as the coming trends in the (______) business?
8. Describe the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced in your business?
9. What ways have you found to be the most effective for promoting your business?
10. What one sentence would you like people to use in describing the way you do business?
Like Bob says, you’re not going to get to ask more than a few of these questions during an initial conversation, so don’t worry about sounding like you’re conducting an interrogation. These are feel-good questions people enjoy answering, and they are meant to establish an initial rapport.
So next time you’re at a networking event, try using a few of these questions and then come back and leave a comment about how using them worked out for you; I’m more than willing to bet you’ll be pleased with the results.
Copyright © 2010 – Bob Burg. Bob Burg is author of “Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales” and “Winning Without Intimidation: How to Master the Art of Positive Persuasion,” both with over 100,000 copies sold. His newest booklet is “The Successs Formula.” He also publishes a free weekly eZINE newsletter. Visit Bob’s BLOG.
Larry’s Note: I would add one more question, if, when talking with someone with whom you feel a good connection and would like to get to know better:
“How may I help you?” – (Click link to read more about this!)
Demonstrating a sincere interest in someone is a great way to let them know that you really are there for them if that’s what they want and that you are interested in working together. Networking is about building long-lasting business relationships (and more). To me, the journey begins with this question.
Here is one more networking question. . .
“So, if I’m chatting with someone, what might they say or do that would tell me that they are the perfect client for you?” You should, of course, already have your own answer for this one, because it’s highly likely that they will turn it around and ask you (which is what you want anyway, right?). ~ Greg Peters, founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC
Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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