10 things to ask at a networking one-to-one…

Exciting times …. you’ve been contacted by a potential client following a successful contact at a networking event and have arranged a meeting or a call. But now you’re panicking over what questions to ask. Don’t worry, I’ve got a few useful conversation starters.

Networking is all about getting to know each others businesses so they can either use your services or recommend you to others. You should give each other time to explain your businesses. If they are interested in securing your services then they might have a lot of questions focusing on the detail of how you provide value for money.

The most important thing is to be yourself. Yes you want to be friendly and professional, but if you imitate someone else, you will just slip up later on and then the client will be left wondering who is the real you and what are you trying to hide!

Suggested questions…

Although these are suggested questions for you to ask a potential client, be fully aware that they might ask you these sorts of questions about your own business so make sure you’ve thought of a suitable response! Also, you will need to gauge how many of these questions to ask and probably won’t need to ask them all in one conversation. Once you’ve started talking there will be a natural flow.

  1. How did you choose this industry? or how did you get into this field?
  2. Why is your company different to your competitors?
  3. What does your ideal client look like?
  4. What would be a good referral for you?
  5. This new legislation being brought in, how is it going to affect your business?
  6. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing you or your industry in the next 6 months?
  7. Where do you hope to be in a years time?
  8. What has been the most effective way to attract new clients/customers?
  9. What do you most enjoy about your job?
  10. If there was one thing you could outsource what would it be?

Following the meeting/call…

It’s most important to thank the client for their time in meeting with you. And if you promised an action that you feed back to them with an update. If they don’t outright ask to use your services, then you need to build a relationship with them so if they recommended a contact to you then you can feedback that you’d made contact etc. If suitable, schedule a follow up in 3-6-9 months. You never know when you made a good impression on a contact and I’ve had people reach out 12 months later.

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