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How to answer the only three questions you’ll ever be asked at any networking event

There are only 3 questions you’ll ever be asked at any networking event.

  1. “What’s new?”
  2. “What do you do?”
  3. “Can you introduce yourself to the room?”

And the best way to answer the first two is NOT your 30-Second Elevator Pitch.

Because it’s too much information too soon.

It always reminds me of my college roommate, Stephen. From Italy.

If you asked Stephen “What’s Up?”

He would tell you.

In great detail.

Starting from about the time he was five years old.

Our classmates started to avoid him.

Poor Stephen was confused.

Apparently, in Italy, if someone asks you “What’s Up?” they really want to know.

In the US, the expected response to “What’s Up?” is “What’s Up?”

It’s the equivalent of hello.

And it’s the biggest mistake people make at business networking events.

They launch into their 30-Second Elevator Pitch at the equivalent of “Hello.”

It’s too much too soon.

It’s no wonder so many prospect’s eyes glaze over.

And no wonder so many professionals think that business networking is a waste of time.

Yet there’s a world of opportunity in hello.

There are so many opportunities to start productive business conversations when you stop using your 30-Second Elevator Pitch.

Here are conversation starters for the only 3 questions you’ll ever be asked at any networking event:

1. “What’s New?”

This is the biggest missed opportunity in all of networking.

Most people answer with “nothing” or “not much” or “same old, same old.”

That stops conversations.

Instead answer with something that’s actually new in your professional life, personal life, or with one of your hobbies.

For example:

“I just ran the best kickoff meeting ever for my yearly leadership program for high school juniors.”

“I just finished up my resume and I can’t wait to start passing it around.”

“I just signed up a great new client thanks to a perfect referral.”

Answer “What’s New” with a quick story about something that’s new.

2. “What do you do?”

Describe what you do in 7 words.

For example:

I help authors tell their stories

Mobile accountant — I come to you!

I publish medical journals for physicians

I help people differentiate in 30 seconds

If you answer with something quick, specific, and intriguing,

Then people will ask you questions.

And you’ll start more conversations.

Answer “What do you do?” with 7 words

3. “Introduce yourself.”

Most people spend their 30 seconds talking about themselves.

Name, Company, Title, Number of Years in Business.

There’s just one problem…

That doesn’t give your prospects any reason to contact you.

Instead share a recent client success.

That way people can give you leads that are most like your best clients.

Got 30 seconds? Share a client success story instead of talking about yourself.

 Want to learn more?

Download our Step-by-Step Guide to starting conversations.

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