Have you ever walked away from a conversation while networking and thought, “that person knows nothing about me, so I’m not really interested in developing a relationship and helping them.”
When you go networking, one of your objectives should be to help others so that they with then want to help you in return. At networking, I see so many people trying to sell to the room but it’s not about selling to the room, it is about proving you are a competent person to deal with so that they want to refer you.
One way to prove your competence is by finding out about others. One of the most basic skills when communicating is questioning, yet it’s a skill that people find difficult. Questioning is a powerful tool and helps build rapport. It will also help you gain more information about people so you can help them. If you help others, they are naturally going to want to help you.
When communicating, try to ask questions that will get the other person talking. I find this is the best way to start a conversation, and it will make the conversation flow. When you want to confirm things, ask more direct questions. Then when you want to close the sale or the conversation, ask closed question. This is called the ‘questioning funnel’. You should have many ‘questioning funnels’ in a conversation depending on the type of response you are encouraging.
If you want to learn more about communication skills, especially questioning and in the networking environment, contact me and I can help you with all levels of communication from questioning right through to Behavioural Styles. Communication is a way to build relationships and if you build relationships, you are going to build your business so it is successful.