How do you answer “So, What’s New?”

We’re all used to the common questions when networking tying to start up a conversation.  Last week I focused on a common question of “So What Do You Do?” and another common one I get all the time when networking is “So, What’s New With You?” super common but more often then not answered incorrectly which could end a perfectly good conversation before it even has a chance to start!  Probably the most common answer that I hear is “Oh not much, how about you?” and I say FAIL! (Not that I’ve never done it myself of course!)

There are two things I want to point out here, one really great way to answer the question and another to avoid.  A great way to answer the question is to, oh shock, say something new you’re doing!  What I usually do on my way to networking events is to think of some of the great stuff I’m working on for clients or fun projects that could relate to what I do professionally.  Last time I was asked the “What’s New” question I went on to say how I was excited to be designing my sister-in-law’s wedding invitations.  It’s nice and related to what I do, gives an example of how my services can be used and flows nicely into an easy conversation topic.  I think after that we may have talked briefly about weddings.  The importance here is that we kept talking, the conversation didn’t die.

It’s always good to think about things like this before you get to your networking event though, have a few “pocket answers” ready to pull out when you need them so you’re not tempted to say “not much”.  It shows that you’re actually doing business by having something to say you’re working on!  Really, it’s also good to just have a thought of one or two new things you’re working on all the time for those impromptu meetings while grocery shopping or picking up your morning cup of coffee.  A quick little snipit to show you’re trucking along.

One thing that you want to make sure you avoid though is an overwhelm answer.  Saying one or two things that you’re working on can lead to great conversation, but sharing a huge list may give the impression that you’re TOO busy.  Why would someone refer you a new client if you can barely keep on top of what you’ve already got?  Saying that you’re super busy does mean that you’re doing good and likely profitable, but people can also take it as a “don’t refer me any business, my plate’s full already!”  Having a list of projects you’re working on to use in conversation is great, just don’t use the whole list on one person!

A couple of thoughts for when you’re networking next to make sure you’re entering some great conversations instead of stopping them before they have a chance to start!

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This entry was posted by Anna Kouwenberg on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 1:51 pm and is filed under Networking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.