Hope Wissel

Great Questions Help Build Relationships

When you are out and about, do you struggle with starting conversations with people you don’t know?  Are you able to make great comebacks or think of “cute” “funny” things to say to engage others in conversation?  If so you are blessed.

If these fears haunt you then networking is probably one of the things that you HATE to do, right?  Meeting new people is key to our business especially in direct sales.  Now, I am not talking about at a home party or a vendor event where you can engage people in conversation when your products are right in front of them.  I am talking about those “other” meetings – chance meetings, networking events and countless other sales opportunities that are out there.

If you can’t think fast on my feet when you are out and about OR if you miss cues that would help lead into conversations where you can share about you products and the business opportunity – YOU are missing out on business.

So, how do you change that.  Savvy business people know that the key to effective conversations is to ask questions. Asking questions lets you accomplish three things at the same time.

  1. It gives you control the conversation so you can direct the conversation and keep it moving.
  2. It provides you with valuable information so that you can figure out the best way help to this person.
  3. Believe it or not, questions communicate your interest in the other person, helping them feel appreciated and understood.

Here are some questions that you can ask in almost any situation, without feeling like a stalker:

  1. What do you do?
  2. How did you get into that field?
  3. What do you love most about what you do?
  4. What’s your biggest challenge?
  5. What’s your latest success?
  6. Who’s your target market?
  7. Have you been here before?
  8.  Who else do you know here?
  9. Are you a member of this organization?
  10. Who else do you know here?
  11. Where are you from?
  12. What do you do for fun?
  13. Are you a sports fan?
  14. Did you see the game last night?
  15. Do you have any kids?

And perhaps my absolute favorite networking question:

Where else do you go to network?

Okay, so you don’t need to use them all but they are some good ice breakers.  Some would say that you should memorize these questions, develop a few of your own and use them the next time you meet someone you don’t know to engage them in conversation. See how easily the conversation flows.  By asking others questions about themselves, they will also respond with questions for you.  Remember the 10-second rule by Deb Bixler to ensure that you don’t monopolize the conversation.

Do you have a suggestion to add to this list? What are your favorite networking questions?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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