Networking is critically important in any business.
Around 40% of prospects are turned into new customers after there is an initial meeting. It shows how effective networking is among businesses.
But sometimes business owners go to networking events and fall flat when it comes to meeting new people. They fall short when it comes to conversation starters
It’s important to talk with professionals in your industry. You can learn about their work and possibly work together in the future.
But before going to a networking event, you should know the best conversation starters. It can help you create a natural conversation with another professional without making it feel forced.
Here are the best conversation starters to consider next time you attend a networking event.
Ask Their Name
The first conversation starter is something basic. It’s introducing yourself and asking for the other person’s name. When they do you their name, it’s vitally important you remember it.
Knowing someone’s name months or even years after you met can go a long way.
If you do get their name, try to write it down in a notebook as soon as you can or put it on your phone. You can put their name, their job, and where you met them. This gives you a way of remembering someone’s name.
It doesn’t matter who you are meeting at the networking event, you should always be courteous and introduce yourself to whoever is next to you. When you get tunnel vision and you only focus on meeting other people, you’ll miss out on meeting people who can potentially help your business.
Ask What They Do
Another tip to a conversation starter at a networking event is asking what they do.
Another important tip when you ask what someone does is to ask follow-up questions. Ask what challenges they have in their career or what makes it the best job.
When you dive deeper and ask more questions about someone’s job, you put the focus on them. You make them feel confident and they enjoy talking about themselves. In addition, you are learning interesting information about someone’s career.
This could eventually benefit you when you reconnect with someone you met at a networking event. You can mention their job and how impressed you were when you found out what they did.
Don’t Forget to Extend a Hand
Shaking hands is always a good idea. You should have a firm handshake that shows courtesy.
It’s also a great way to non-communicate with someone. When you shake someone’s hand and look them in the eye, it’s being professional.
Always Be Polite and Compliment Their Work
Another tip is to always be polite and compliment someone’s work. This means you should try to avoid talking about yourself and your work. It can be easy to get off track and talk about yourself.
Sometimes you want to talk about your business and what amazing things or projects you are working on.
However, you should avoid talking about yourself, at least some of the time. It’s fine to talk about your work, but you should make the bulk of the conversation about the other person.
You want to complement their work and what they are doing. When they talk about projects or challenges, mention how impressed you are.
While you are being polite and giving compliments, you should also be actively listening. You should be listening to everything the other person has to say, even if they are talking about their great grandmother.
Sometimes referring back to minor details in a conversation you had months ago can help go a long way. It can impress the person because it shows how much of a listener you are.
When you are listening to the conversation, you should be facing them and giving them eye contact. This shows you are fully participating in the conversation.
Don’t Forget About the Business Card
Another tip when it comes to conversation starters is talking about business cards. A fun way to start a conversation is to bring up your business card.
When you first meet someone, you can make a joke about how dorky your business card looks. This can be a great way to break the ice with someone you just met.
It also kills two birds with one stone because you are breaking the ice and you are getting their business card.
After you exchange business cards, you can then segue way into their job and what they do. You can ask them what they are looking for at networking events and what some challenges they have in the workplace.
Ask a Funny Question
The final tip when it comes to conversation starters is to ask the other person a funny question.
You can ask them if cereal is a soup or ask them about the interesting facts they know. This can make you stand out from the crowd because they will always remember the person who knows the funny questions.
Now You Know the Best Conversation Starters
These conversation starters are designed to help you meet new people at networking events. You want to do more than talk about your business, you want to be invested in other people’s work.
When you adopt these networking event conversation starters, you make yourself memorable because you are taking a vested interest in someone’s life. You are showing interest in their work.
Overall, these conversation starters can help you connect and reconnect with people in your industry. You’ll stand out and be remember more than most people.
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