Networking and running a successful business go hand in hand. It is an invaluable way to make new connections, learn from other business owners, and tell others about your business. While at events, it is important to remember that you are not just gaining exposure to the people in the room, you are building connections with their networks, too.

So, how can you get the most out of a networking event? Ask the right questions. Good questions are a way of building relationships and connecting with those that you meet.

Here are some engaging questions to ask at a networking event:
• “What business problem does your company solve?”
• “Tell me why you love what you do.”
• “Who is your ideal client?”
• “What sets you apart from others in your industry?”
• “What’s the best thing that has happened in your business this year?”
• “What kind of people can I introduce you to that would be a good fit for your business?”
• “How do you like to de-stress from work?”

We recommend not starting a conversation with “What do you do?” This implies that you are only interested in what they do for business, and what they can do for you. You want to show that you are interested in who they are as a person as well. Remember, real conversations lead to real connections—and networking is all about the connections.

Did you know that the North Valley has its own business networking group? Our very own Business Pros Connect was created specifically for fellow local business owners in the community to form business relationships and exchange referrals. For more information, join in at

In addition to the virtual group, Business Pros Connect meets monthly at two convenient locations. This month we will be at:
• Elevate Coffee Company, located at 2530 W. Happy Valley Road, Ste. 1273, in the Shops at Norterra. We meet from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 25.
• TapHouse Kitchen, located at 3131 E. Shea Boulevard in Phoenix. This month, we’re meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. on Thursday, August 26.

Whether you join Business Pros Connect in-person, online, or both, we can’t wait to hear about your business.