Listen: Networking is less about meeting new people than it is about getting them to remember you after the fact.
That means, asking the right questions is an essential step in standing above the crowd. Getting noticed. Having people remember you a week from now.
It’s not how many people you met. It’s how many people you impressed.
If that’s the case, then how do you get someone to remember you from the other dozen people he met that very same night?
Good question. Let me explain.
One Easy Way to Provide Value
First, make an instant connection with that person. Just after you’ve introduced yourself, say…
“So where else do you normally network?”
After she answers, offer the names of a couple of networking groups or events and promise to email her if you think of some more. By providing valuable information she might not have had before, you’ve made a deep connection with this person she isn’t likely to forget.
Get Them Talking about Themselves
Second, in early in the conversation, ask…
“What do you like best about what you do?”
People enjoy talking about themselves and a question that shows true interest in their careers will anchor your name deep in their minds.
It helps to determine early what you have in common with people at the event.
Keep Them Talking about Themselves
Third, during the latter stages of the conversation, ask…
“Oh, I see. What got you started in that direction?”
This will probably generate the longest response. But that’s okay, because it will be a meaningful way to wind down the conversation. And once again, by showing a true interest in her career, you’ll make your name easy for her to remember next time she comes across you business card.
Bottom line, be yourself.
What are your networking secrets? How do you stand out in an over-crowded networking event? Share your thoughts.