Ask Your Own Questions

The law of reciprocity is always working, and it even has an impact on our conversations when we’re networking.  If you want someone to ask you a specific question, ask her the same question first. She’ll think, “that’s a great question.” After she answers, she’ll probably ask you the same question in return.  (If she doesn’t, she might be an “all about me” person–someone you want to avoid.)

Here are 10 great questions to ask someone while networking that are then likely to be asked of you in return.

1.  What do you do?
2.  Who’s your target market?
3.  What do you like most about what you do?
4.  What’s new in your business?
5.  What’s the biggest challenge for you and your business?
6.  What sets you apart from your competition?
7.  Why did you start your business?
8.  Where is your business located?
9.  What’s your most popular product?
10.  How do you generate most of your business?

Before attending your next networking function, think about what you want other people to ask you.  To get the most out of the law of reciprocity, take the initiative and ask those questions of each person you meet.

8 thoughts on “Ask Your Own Questions

  1. These are great questions! So many people wonder what to talk about when they meet someone at a networking event- use some of these. I also inquire how long they’ve been doing their biz. And, yes, you need to know the answers also. No cave dwelling alllowed! Get out there and network! Shawn McCarthy BNI ED Ventura County, Ca.

  2. Ivan, thankyou again for stating the obvious. I trip over these kind of things regularly. It never ceases to amaze me that I get confounded by the questions which are right there in front of me.

    These are great questions but to some degree I wonder if who I am is actually defined by any of them.

    Don’t get me wrong, but I believe that to be effective I need to be my natural self. The person who is behind the things I do and the products I sell. I believe that the relationship is paramount and the product is consequential.

    In this way the people I contact and reach know me by my integrity.

    Anyway, thats my thoughts. Your post has made me think again about these kind of conversations. And I do employ a lot of the questions you listed.

    I enjoy your comments and look forward to reading them.


  3. These are great conversation starters and absolutely necessary things to know about those we might do business with.

    Even more to the point, these are 10 great questions that we should be prepared to answer when talking with others.

    I am often surprised to talk with business owners who are not able to articulate some or all of the above topics. Sometimes, when I ask someone who their ideal client is? The question is met with a blank stare.

    Anyway, I would like to thank you for this great piece of information.


  4. Hi Ivan

    These are great questions.

    I particularly like question 2.

    As a BNI Director and having completed over 100 Member Success programs for new BNI members I am shocked with the amount of business that can’t tell you who their target market is. Is this just a UK/Ireland thing?

    I have done some further research and 90% of business in the UK/Ireland do not have a business plan and out of the 10% who do 9% have a plan to obtain external funding. Shocking!!!

    Just by asking that question it will hopefully get people thinking.

    Thanks again for the Blinding Flash of the Obvious.

    Rob Copeland BNI Scotland West
    BNI for the business you and your company have always wanted.

  5. These are great questions. The answers reveal a lot about the respondent and their attitude toward their profession.

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