What should you talk about at a networking event? [Briefly Stated]

Filed in Sharisax Is Out There 8 comments

The next time you have the opportunity to meet and mingle with “strangers,” why not come prepared.  Plan to ask questions, not sell anything. In today’s business world where selling is being replaced with engagement, your best bet is to find new clients through genuine conversation.

Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking shares tips on a weekly podcast. Episode #183 discussed ten questions you should think about asking at your next networking event.

Memorize a few of these questions for your next networking event

  1. How did you get started in your business?
  2. What do you enjoy most about your profession?
  3. What separates you and your company from your competition?
  4. What advice would you give someone just starting out in your 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 your business?
  8. What’s the strangest/funniest incident you’ve experienced in your business?
  9. What ways have you found to be most effective in promoting your business?
  10. What one sentence would you like people to use in describing the way you do your business?

Further Reading:

Do’s and Don’ts for Networking

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   18 January 2011
Tags : , , , , ,
Jan 18, 2011
2:58 pm

Great point on networking events!

Also a great point to be remembered in business in general.

Asking questions about what people want will allow you to get to know your customer, prospective customer, business partner or prospective business partner and really understand what they are looking for.

In Success,
Howie Perks

Author Jan 18, 2011
7:03 pm

Interestingly enough, Howie, a little anecdote from today reinforces the philosophy of this post: My husband and I were walking along the beach restaurants, enjoying our last day at Zihautanejo before heading home tomorrow. My husband had stopped to chat with one of the restaurant owners standing outside his place on our way through. When we returned, imagine how pleased my husband was when the owner remembered his name, called it out, and took up the conversation where they had left off. You KNOW that my husband now wants to eat at his place.

Getting to know people, i.e., engaging them, is what the new marketing is all about.

Jan 22, 2011
9:40 pm


I love this post on Networking ideas. I did a lot of networking in the past but have been “out of the game” for many years. I’m attending a networking event this week for the first time where I live now.

Thanks for the great ideas for learning about people’s businesses – I especially like the one about asking them for the funniest or strangest thing that has happened at their business. That sure sounds like a great conversation starter!


Author Jan 23, 2011
12:58 am

Lori, please let me know how your event works out. I’m thinking of using those questions during my next presentation to my BNI group . . . so if any of my fellow members are “listening” to our conversation, they will have a heads up.

Jan 25, 2011
6:02 pm
#5 A Socialite :


Thank You for such great ways to stay current and still socialize.

Author Jan 25, 2011
7:17 pm

You are most welcome! My hope [and plan] is that this class will be loads of fun as well as a source for great information and skill-building.

Jan 26, 2011
11:09 pm

This was really helpful – as I am now doing advertising and networking for my firm – and networking is not something they taught at my small liberal arts college.
I’m learning as I go- and from reading articles online.

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:35 am

Suzzanna, this morning I used those networking questions at my BNI meeting presentation. BNI is an international organization of more than 1,000 chapters of entrepreneurs who get together weekly to be each other’s sales force. They enjoyed the exercise of using those questions.

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