Updated: May 18, 2020
I will tell you the ONE question you need to start a conversation at a networking event, and it works every time. Meeting hoards of new people is stressful enough, so now you can walk into a meetup or event with this question ready. It never gets stale, it’s casual, and provides you with key information to understand how to proceed next.
I have a 𝗳𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻. It's the one question I use to start a conversation at a networking event, and it feels right every time. The question is: ✅ What brought you here today? Knowing why they are there gives you key context, AND it is effortless for them to answer. This one question will inform your entire conversation. Based on why they are there that will help you to understand if and how you could potentially add value to them. Questions I don't like: 🚫 What do you do? As a first question, this one leads people to launch into an elevator pitch. It immediately feels stale. 🚫 How can I help change your life? You may feel like you're sounding bold, but really this question is a chore for the other person to figure out what the heck to say here. In general, avoid asking "How can I help?" and instead get to know what's important to them & notice where you can help. What is your favorite networking question?
Get the "Networking Toolkit" - a quick-reference guide for your next networking event. It is complete with the ECAU Framework for building lasting relationships, and 5 questions to ask while networking that will feel more authentic than "What do you do?" Get it here.