Asking open-ended questions is a great technique for anyone who dislikes the repetitive small talk associated with meeting people the first time. The goal is to ask the people you’re meeting questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. Choose questions that require an in-depth answer, like, “How has your industry changed in the past 10 years?” “What have your customers been asking for?” and “Why do you think that is?” As a rule of thumb, “why” questions tend to generate the most interesting answers and conversations. Good conversation is the foundation of successful networking.