The next time you're at a networking event, instead of making chit-chat about the weather or your favorite sports team, ask, "What's your biggest challenge right now?"
Running a successful business isn't all fun and games, and Sam Miller, founder of strength training and performance measurement technology platform Boston Biomotion, likes to confront this. Asking someone about their biggest challenge opens up an honest dialogue that could prove to be mutually beneficial.
"I prefer this question as a way of getting some depth. This often leads directly to learning more about what they do and where they are, and also seeing if there's any way I can be helpful," he says. "The question is pretty disarming, so it requires quickly establishing some trust and comfort, but some of the best conversations and follow-ups I've had have come from this."