Questions To Ask When Networking For Sales

June 20


Questions To Ask When Networking For Sales

By Hanson Cheng

June 20, 2023

  • minute read
  • Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Hanson Cheng

    Networking for sales involves building relationships that can help grow your business or career. It’s the process of connecting with others in your industry, either in person or online, to exchange information, ideas, and referrals that can lead to sales opportunities. Effective networking for sales requires that you ask the right questions to establish trust, rapport, and understanding with potential prospects, clients, and partners. In this article, we’ll explore the key questions to ask when networking for sales that can help you start meaningful conversations and build valuable connections.



    Networking for sales is a process of meeting and interacting with potential customers, building relationships with them, and ultimately selling products or services to them. It involves creating a network of contacts that can be leveraged to generate leads, promote products, and increase revenue.

    Networking for sales can take many forms, from attending networking events and trade shows to participating in online forums and social media channels. The ultimate goal of networking for sales is to build connections and relationships that can lead to increased sales opportunities. Successful networking for sales requires a combination of communication skills, industry knowledge, and the ability to build rapport and trust with potential customers.


    Setting up a network is an excellent way to generate sales for your business. However, to achieve success, it is vital to be strategic, intentional, and knowledgeable about the entire process. Networking represents building relationships that can be used later in your business growth. It’s a bit like planting a seed and watching it grow through consistent nurturing. Networking provides you with multiple opportunities to make connections with people who can help you grow your business.

    When choosing which networking events, groups, or organizations to get involved in, it is essential to consider your target audience, business goals, and industry. Connecting with people that share your values and are a good fit for your brand will help you build beneficial, long-lasting relationships. Being an active participant in networking events demonstrates your dedication to your business and profession, which inspires confidence from potential investors and clients.

    Building an effective network is just the start; it requires management, engagement, and, at times, pruning to remain productive and valuable. The modern business environment evolves rapidly, and being proactive and flexible enables you to stay competitive in the market. Ensuring that you follow up with the people you meet and being committed to constant learning and improvement will set you up for success in networking and ultimately, sales for your business.


    When it comes to networking for sales, it’s essential to have clear and actionable goals in place. Without specific objectives, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of networking events, leaving you feeling like you’ve wasted valuable time. Therefore, one of the primary goals of this article is to help you establish clear goals that align with your overall sales strategy. Your networking goals should be succinct, measurable, and aligned with both your personal and professional development.

    Common goals for networking include expanding your network by meeting new contacts, generating leads that align with your target market, establishing relationships with key industry players, and gaining insights into industry trends. By having specific goals in mind when you attend networking events, you’ll be better equipped to identify opportunities, build meaningful connections, and create a more significant impact in your industry.

    We’ll delve deeper into each of these goals, exploring ways to achieve them and the key questions that will aid you in doing so. With a solid understanding of your networking goals, you’ll be able to approach each event with a clear sense of purpose and direction, maximizing your efforts towards achieving your desired outcomes.



    One of the most critical stages in successful sales networking is research. Without proper research, a networker may not be able to identify the right people to connect with, or may not understand how to approach them. Research should start with identifying the target market and understanding their needs and preferences. The networker should investigate key players in the industry, their products or services, and their strengths and weaknesses.

    The research should also include information on the events or forums where the target market frequently engage. Additionally, understanding the challenges and pain points that the targeted market faces can lead to more meaningful conversations, and eventually to sales. Finally, keeping up with news and trends in the industry is crucial, as it shows the prospect that you are informed and up-to-date with the latest developments.

    Target Audience

    Understanding your target audience is crucial when it comes to networking for sales. Before attending any networking event, you need to have a clear idea of who you want to connect with, and what you hope to achieve from the interaction. This can be achieved by researching the event and the attendees ahead of time, reviewing your current customer base, and identifying potential prospects.

    Additionally, identifying your target audience involves understanding their pain points, needs and desires, and tailoring your approach to meet those needs. You may also want to consider the demographic, psychographic, and geographic characteristics of your target audience before attending any events. Knowing who your target audience is and what they are looking for, will help you establish meaningful connections and build valuable relationships that eventually drive sales.

    Elevator Pitch

    When preparing for a networking event or meeting, one of the most important things to consider is crafting an effective elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a brief, concise statement that answers the question, “What do you do?” in a way that captures the interest of the listener and leaves a lasting impression.

    To create an effective elevator pitch, start by identifying the core value or benefit you provide to your clients or customers. This should be a clear and specific statement that speaks directly to their needs or desires. From there, consider the unique aspects of your business or approach – what sets you apart from others in your field? Incorporating these elements into your pitch can help make it memorable and compelling.

    When crafting your elevator pitch, it’s important to keep in mind that brevity is key. Your message should be concise and to-the-point, ideally no longer than 30 seconds. In addition, your pitch should be tailored to your audience. If you’re networking with potential clients or customers, focus on the benefits you can provide to them. If you’re speaking with industry peers, emphasize your unique expertise or perspective. Finally, practice your pitch until you’re comfortable delivering it in a natural, conversational tone.

    Another key aspect of preparing for a networking event is researching the attendees and the event itself. Take time to review the guest list and identify individuals or organizations you’d like to connect with. Research their backgrounds, interests, and current projects to gain a better understanding of their needs and priorities. This can help you craft more targeted and effective pitches when you do meet them. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the event format and agenda, so you can make the most of your time there.

    Overall, effective preparation is essential for successful networking in sales. By crafting a strong elevator pitch and researching your audience and the event beforehand, you can maximize your chances of making meaningful connections and advancing your business goals.

    During Networking

    Open-Ended Questions

    When attending a networking event, it’s crucial to ask open-ended questions to initiate a conversation and establish a rapport with potential clients. Open-ended questions require more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and encourage the other person to engage in a more meaningful conversation. These questions also demonstrate that you’re genuinely interested in the other person and what they have to say.

    To prepare for a networking event, consider open-ended questions that relate to your industry but are not too specific. For example, “What inspired you to pursue a career in [industry]?” or “What do you think are the most significant challenges that [industry] is facing right now?” Additionally, asking questions about a person’s interests, hobbies, or unique experiences can also be an effective way to make a lasting impression and build a personal connection.

    When asking open-ended questions, be attentive and actively listen to the response, as this will help shape the conversation and show your interest and attentiveness. Remember, networking is about building relationships, and asking open-ended questions is an essential tool to accomplish that goal.

    Active Listening

    Effective communication is vital to successful networking. Active listening is an essential skill for a sales professional looking to make an impression in a new networking setting. Active listening involves giving undivided attention to the person speaking, maintaining eye contact, and focusing on the underlying message. It is about digesting the message, attempting to understand the speaker’s perspective, and then providing appropriate feedback.

    Active listening is the art of hearing the words while paying attention to the tone, body language, and eye contact of the speaker. It helps to identify non-verbal cues that offer insight into the speaker’s emotions and thought processes. Additionally, active listening enables a sales professional to form meaningful relationships with clients by demonstrating an interest in the client’s needs and communicating messages in a way that resonates with them.

    By giving careful consideration to someone’s point of view and responding in an empathetic way, a sales professional can build trust and create a long-term positive relationship with a client. Effective communication, empathy, and active listening skills are the cornerstone of networking for sales.

    Value Proposition

    When you are networking for sales, it is important to have a clear and compelling value proposition. Your value proposition is the unique benefit that you offer to customers that sets you apart from competitors. During networking events, you have a brief amount of time to make a strong impression and communicate your value proposition effectively. Develop a concise and clear value proposition that highlights the benefits and value that you can offer to potential customers.

    A good value proposition should clearly describe your product or service, the benefits that it provides, and the target market that it serves. You should be able to communicate your value proposition in a sentence or two, and it should be easy to understand and memorable to prospective clients. Additionally, make sure that your value proposition is relevant to the needs and interests of those you are networking with.

    Take the time to research and identify the needs of your target audience, and tailor your value proposition to address those specific needs. Finally, be confident and enthusiastic about your value proposition. Believe in the value that you offer, and convey that confidence to potential clients. By effectively communicating your value proposition during networking events, you can increase your chances of developing valuable relationships and winning new customers.



    When you build a network of sales prospects, it is essential to follow-up with them in a timely fashion. It is important to strike a balance between staying top-of-mind with your prospects and not overwhelming them with follow-up messages. Ideally, you should aim to follow up within 24 to 48 hours of your initial meeting or call. The first follow-up could be an email thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in working with them. It is possible to mix an email with a phone call. It is also recommended to schedule a follow-up meeting or call. This will show your prospects that you are serious and committed to building a business relationship with them.

    Description: This subsection discusses the importance of timing when it comes to follow up with potential sales prospects. It provides insight into how quickly you should follow up and what mediums can be used to follow up. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of scheduling a follow-up meeting or call to build a business relationship with your prospects.


    Personalization is the process of tailoring your communication to impress upon the other person that you have taken the time to understand their specific needs. One of the most effective ways to enhance personalization is to ask questions that show your interest in the other person. People are naturally more comfortable when they are talking about something they are passionate about, so asking questions about hobbies, favorite books or movies can help establish that rapport.

    Inquiring about their experience in their field, or the challenges they are currently facing, can lend insight into how you might be able to assist them in their work. Showing genuine interest in what someone is saying is a surefire way to help them remember you and appreciate the interaction. Remember, personalization is about making someone feel heard and acknowledged, because when people feel good about a conversation, they’re more likely to remember the person they’ve spoken with.

    Action Plan

    Asking the right questions during networking events can help increase sales and take advantage of new business opportunities. However, the key to networking success lies in follow-up. After an event, it is crucial to have an action plan in place to ensure that you are nurturing new connections and utilizing them to the fullest extent. To begin with, organize your contact information in a way that is easy to access and manage. Be sure to add notes about each person you met, including any specific details about their business or interests that may be relevant to you down the line.

    Once you have this information sorted, it’s time to put your follow-up plan into action. Sending a personalized email within 24-48 hours of the event is a great way to start building a relationship with your new connection. In this message, be sure to reference something you discussed during your conversation and express interest in continuing the conversation.

    After this initial communication, continue to stay connected by sharing valuable content such as blog posts, news articles, or industry reports. Consider personalized outreach efforts such as phone calls or in-person coffee meetings with your connections to establish a deeper level of engagement. Lastly, don’t forget to track your progress! Regularly review your outreach efforts to identify what is working and what isn’t. By consistently evaluating and refining your approach, you can establish meaningful relationships that can help drive your business forward.

    Questions To Ask When Networking For Sales: FAQ

    What Are Some Good Icebreaker Questions To Ask When Networking For Sales?

    Some good icebreaker questions to ask when networking for sales include “What brings you here today?” “What type of industry are you in?” and “How did you get started in your business?” These questions help establish a connection and understanding between potential clients.

    What Types Of Questions Should I Ask To Gain A Better Understanding Of A Potential Client’s Needs?

    To gain a better understanding of a potential client’s needs, it’s important to ask open-ended questions that allow them to discuss their goals and challenges. Examples of these types of questions include “What are your goals for the upcoming year?” “What challenges have you faced recently?” and “What types of solutions are you currently using?”

    What Questions Should I Ask To Determine If A Potential Client Is A Good Fit For My Product/service?

    To determine if a potential client is a good fit for your product/service, it’s important to ask questions that assess their needs and budget. Examples of these types of questions include “What is your current budget for this product/service?” “What pain points are you currently experiencing that my product/service can address?” and “What is your ideal timeline for implementing a solution?”

    What Are Some Follow-up Questions To Ask After A Potential Client Expresses Interest In My Product/service?

    After a potential client expresses interest in your product/service, it’s important to ask follow-up questions that help you understand their level of commitment and readiness to move forward. Examples of these types of questions include “What are your next steps in the decision-making process?” “What questions do you still have about our product/service?” and “Would you like to schedule a follow-up call or meeting to discuss further?”

    What Questions Should I Avoid Asking When Networking For Sales?

    When networking for sales, it’s important to avoid asking overly personal questions, questions about finances, and questions that may come across as pushy or aggressive. Examples of questions to avoid include “How much money do you make?” “Do you have any health issues?” and “When are you going to make a decision about our product/service?”

    What Are Some Strategies For Transitioning From Small Talk To Business-related Questions?

    To transition from small talk to business-related questions, it’s important to find common ground and establish a rapport with the potential client. One strategy is to bring up a current event or industry-related news topic and ask for their opinion. Another strategy is to ask about their business goals or challenges and offer your perspective or solutions.

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    Hanson Cheng

    About the author

    Living in Portugal with my wife and puppies.
    Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter.

    Always happy to hear from you, so find me on Instagram if you want to say hi!

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