Ask open-ended questions. This is a great technique for anyone who dislikes the repetitive small talk associated with meeting people the first time. The goal here is to always ask people 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 are your customers asking for the most?” and “Why do you think that is?” As a rule of thumb, “why” questions generate the most interesting answers and conversations.