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Jan 25, 201811:49 AMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Finding the knack for networking

(page 2 of 2)

The best way to get noticed and appreciated at a networking event is to ask good questions and be completely interested in the responses. Questions that begin with what, why, or how will get more information. Suggestions for open-ended questions to begin a conversation include:

  • How long have you been a member of this group?
  • How has your membership in this group helped you?
  • Where are you originally from?
  • What is the best part of your job?
  • What is the most challenging part of your job?

Almost everyone’s greatest business networking fear is that they won’t remember names and faces. It happens to all of us at one time or another. When you’re face to face with someone you should remember — but absolutely, positively cannot recall — you can either “dance” or admit you don’t know where you remember him or her from.

Dancing goes like this: “It’s nice to see you again. When did we last see each other? (Hoping this gives you a clue.) Is this a busy time for you? (Maybe this will give another clue.) Ask any other question that could dredge up the memory fix that’s needed. If all else fails, just admit you haven’t a clue where you met. Say you’re bad with face and ask for help remembering. You might be surprised at how many people will laugh and say they have the same problem.

Lastly, chance encounters can also lead to great relationships, so be open to talking to everyone. You never know what opportunities will be available through a chance encounter.

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