As a sales trainer in the insurance industry for over 20 years, I teach the importance of networking. One of the most important aspects is to have a good initial introduction question.When you meet someone at a social event or more important networking event, what is your initial introduction question? Is it an engaging question? Is it just a boring question that everyone else says? How’s it going? How are you? How’s business? How’s life treating you? All of these are just very standard questions most people ask. If the average person, for our example greets and meets 25 new people, why would they remember you? Was your question different to be engaging or just like the other 25 people you won’t remember yourself? Don’t you want to be remembered?
Let’s explore some ways to be just a little more creative when asking your initial introduction question. If you ask a standard How’s it going? question, the new person will always answer with their standard, Things are going well. There is no thought to respond. However, if you were to ask, What was the most exciting thing that happened to you today? All of a sudden, the person has to stop and think, wow, that’s a great question, let me think for a moment. Your odds have greatly increased by starting a real conversation with this new person versus, I can’t wait to meet the next person, with no connection with them at all. Your likelihood of standing out from the herd of 25 new introductions has also increased greatly.
When you are networking, from a salesperson or insurance agents point of view, you are probably looking for good connections. Could be a potential client or even better a new connector to refer you more potential clients. You don’t want to waste opportunities to meet a very important person. Remember, when you meet someone, on average they know about 100 people. Those 100 people know also 100 people as well. So, every introduction could be a way to get you introduced to 10,000 people, so don’t blow it!
Here are a few questions to ask to engage a meaningful conversation. What’s the next big thing you have coming up? Where is your business heading? What charity would you give money to? What is your biggest challenge in your business? Why do you do what you do? How did you get started in your business? What gets you excited? What do you do for fun? There is not a wrong answer. The idea is to think outside of the box and be creative to asking engaging memorable conversations. Remember, your future business may depend on it. The most exciting thing about being in sales is that you have not even met your future yet. It may be the very next introduction you meet will change your life and make all of your dreams come true. Whatever you do, don’t blow it!
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.