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I know that you, my readers will not believe this, but I'm an
introvert. And I know that it's not easy being an introvert and
a successful business owner, too.
Being known locally, even if you have a virtual business, is
something every business owner must do to build credibility and
a stellar reputation. Even the Internet Guru's attend networking
meetings and speak to groups as a way to market their online
Attending a meeting of an organization or association may
mean three types of networking opportunities - pretty
overwhelming and nerve racking for an introvert who is not
- There might be networking time before the meeting and
usually that's the time to get to know about someone's
- Then there is sit down time; where most likely "someone"
will be in charge of making sure that everyone does a
roundtable introduction (your elevator speech in 2 minutes
maximum) as your cards are passed around the table.
- The socializing part with people who are sitting next to
Below questions you can ask, as you sit at a table
specifically to eat and wait to hear a speaker. These questions
are more personal then the questions we'd ask in a situation
that is more about networking. So often we forget to ask more
personal questions of people. And we loose the opportunity to
connect with them on a deeper, more personal level - a level
that's not about "the sale". Now of course a few of the
questions below are more business \-like are However, if you'd
like a listing of questions to ask during the networking part of
a meeting, questions that will help you pre-qualify who you're
speaking with, then visit
The Top 10
Questions To Ask At A Networking Meeting
- Where do you live? How long have you lived there?
- Tell me about yourself.
- How did you find out about this meeting?
- What did you do before you started your business?
- What other meetings or groups do you attend during the
month? Has attending them helped your business?
- What sort of things do you do in your personal time?
- Where do you volunteer?
- What's the most important thing you've achieved in your
- What goals are you reaching for personally?
- Do I have your permission to send you a complimentary
copy of my online newsletter? (If they freely give your
their business card)
- Would you like to meet for a cup of coffee?
If you suggest a meeting then it's your responsibility to pay
for the coffee or meal you suggested. You both may decide
differently at the event; but you've taken the lead and that's
proper business etiquette.
©2006 A former Wall Street trader, Maria Marsala is a
nationally known author, strategist, trainer and owner of
Elevating Your Business. Maria helps with financial, technology
and other independent service-related businesses companies
accelerate profits and improve productivity -- faster. Learn
more now at