You’ve worked hard to get an informational interview with someone who has the potential to really help you out with your networking efforts. But while you’ll want to ask good networking questions, there’s one magic networking question that you always forget to ask.
And that’s just too bad, because it’s one that could mean the difference between you getting the opportunities you want, and staying stuck right where you are.
This question is a game changer.
It’s what separates the people who stay stuck from the ones that don’t, the ones that have good careers from the ones that have great careers.
It’s one simple question, but it’s powerful.
But if you never ask, you’ll never get to harness that power.
With this post, you’ll see how important it is and you’ll never forget to ask again.
The Top Networking Questions
You scour the internet and wrack your brain and come up with a list of questions to harness expertise during a networking interview:
What do you like or dislike most about your job?
What are the toughest problems or decisions you handle?
What was the best thing you did to make you successful at your job?
What are the coming trends you see in the industry?
What recommendations would you have for someone just getting into this field?
And on and on. . .
A Good Networking Meeting
You feel like you’ve gotten some good information that can help you make decisions about your career path, your next choices, and can possibly help you get a job.
You didn’t even feel that nervous! Once it got going, you had a nice conversation. You thought networking had to be hard!
You thank the person you’ve been talking with and you feel genuinely grateful. It went well.
But even though you don’t know it, it could have gone better. Much, much better.
A Great Networking Meeting
What did you miss?
A huge opportunity, that’s what.
There’s one networking question that can take a meeting from good to great. It’s such an important networking question that I call it magic, or a secret weapon.
It’s simple, but so, so powerful.
The Magic Networking Question
What is the magic networking question?
At the end of a networking meeting, once you’ve made a great impression and you’ve thoroughly explained who you are and what you’re looking for, pull out this question:
Do you know anyone else that would be helpful for me to talk to?
Why This Is The Most Powerful Networking Question
Why does this simple question hold so much power?
Once the person knows who you are and what you are looking for, they can instantly search their mental network for people that make sense for you to connect to. (It’s important to ask this question before you leave the meeting, while you’re still in front of the person you were meeting with. It’s much harder to ignore your request when you ask face-to-face than it is when you ask later via email, or when you don’t ask at all.)
With this question, you have tapped into their network, which is exactly what you need to do if you’re changing careers and looking to get to know a whole new industry. If you’re looking to advance your career and needing to up your game in terms of the caliber of people you know, or if you’re looking to get a new job and you want to know more people at a certain company, this is also perfect.
You’ve automatically increased your access to knowledge and the right people. Before asking this question, you had access to the person you were meeting with. You were on the outside looking in. But after asking the question, you can make a crack into their “club,” whatever that might be.
This is how you get to where you want and need to be in your career. It’s all about knowing and meeting the right people. And how better to meet them than through personal introductions? You no longer have to cold-connect with people by scouring LinkedIn for opportunities. You can make connections with people that have a reason for meeting with you, on the recommendation of someone you both know.
Making these connections is a game changer. It’s the difference between climbing the social ladder and getting where you need to be in your career, knowing the right people and finding the right opportunities or just staying stuck.
Is this a question that you think could change your career? You decide.