Networking isn’t just about meeting people, showing your face at an event, promoting your company, and collecting a load of business cards. The questions you ask, and the conversations that can develop from asking those questions, are key to making your networking a success.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of questions to consider asking at your next networking event. By asking these types of questions, you should be able to obtain useful information and build up a strong list of contacts to help take your business further.
These questions can allow you to quickly learn about the industry a person works in, their job role, business interests and aims. They can also lead to other questions about their business.
Once you have introduced yourself, these questions are good to open with:
This will help ease you into a gentle conversation, rather than launching into heavier questions about a person’s line of work.
You can find out the name of where a person works, and sometimes their job title, just by looking at their name tag. But these questions allow to you to learn more about their job and the company they work for. You can also learn whether or not what they do and where they work could benefit your business – or if your business could benefit them.
These networking questions are good to ask, specifically, if you find out they are a business owner or business manager.
These questions are good to ask if the person is an employee or employer:
These questions are good to ask to learn about a person’s previous job and sector experience, as well as key business skills and interests. You can also find out about other companies in their contacts book that might be worth speaking to, and that they could put you in touch with.
These allow you to move away from the more business-focused questions, encouraging a person to open up while allowing you to see if you share similar interests.
These networking questions allow you to follow up and get in touch with a person at a later date. Depending on the outcome of your networking, they are best to ask when your conversation is drawing to a close.
It’s important to mention that these are just some examples of good questions to ask at a networking event. They don’t all have to be asked, nor asked in the order given. They should just give you an idea of those questions and key topics that can allow you to find out useful information to help you and your business.
You should always aim to ask open questions that can give you more information, which will prevent people from just giving you a yes or no answer, while helping a conversation to flow. Also, use your judgement to decide what questions will be good to ask, and when, in order to not prevent a conversation from flowing. You can read about other networking tips in our blog, Business networking tips to benefit your company.
Good networking is a crucial part of doing good business. With our expert networking services, we can help you develop your business. The service, which we offer to all our FSB members, includes:
To find out more about this service and how we can help you and your company, please visit our FSB Connect Networking page or speak to a member of our team.
Network with other members and non members from across the UK through our National and Local networking framework