Provisors Tips

This is a completely unofficial web page where I share tactics based on 15 years of membership. Hopefully this helps you meet more people and build more meaningful connections.

How to Break the Ice at Live Events

If you are naturally shy and inhibited, use these conversation starters to make new friends .


  • Mind if I join you over here where it’s a little quieter?
  • Are you here with colleagues?
  • Are you speaking at this event?
  • Compliment people on their clothes and accessories
  • I can’t believe how over/under-dressed I am for this event.
  • Are you here to see anyone in particular?
  • Hey, aren’t you friends with [fill in random name]?
  • What a beautiful venue. How does it compare to other venues that you network at?
  • I’m trying to challenge myself to meet new people at these events. How about you?
  • I noticed you standing alone and thought I’d introduce myself. I’m [name] from [company].
  • I’m not sure if we’ve met before, but I wanted to say hello. I’m [name].
  • I love your [accessory]. It really stands out in the crowd. or Where did you find it?


  • Mind if I join?
  • Did you all (could say guys, girls, …) come here together, or did you meet here?
  • You all look like you’re having the most fun over here. Mind if I join this conversation?
  • Well, you are all certainly having more fun than the last group I was talking to.
  • I’m tired of talking to my colleagues — I see them all the time. What are you all talking about?
  • I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. Mind if I join in?
  • You all seem to be having a lively discussion. What’s the topic?
  • I’m new to these events and looking to expand my network (or meet more people). Would you mind if I joined your group?
  • I’ve been mingling around, but this group seems to be the most engaging. Mind if I join in?


  • As we’re both here at the (buffet, bar, waiting room), I feel I should introduce myself. I’m [name] from [company].
  • Wow, there are a ton of people here! The food must be good, huh?”
  • I’ll be honest, the only person I know here is the bartender, and I just met him two minutes ago. Mind if I introduce myself?”
  • I just came for these [carrot sticks].” Then, ask a question, like “How’d you hear about this event?”
  • Any chance you know a great [sushi] place around here? I’m not familiar with the area.
  • I can’t stop eating these [meatballs]. Have you tried them?”
  • I see we both have a taste for [food item]. I’m [name], by the way.
  • I’m trying to decide between the [food item 1] and [food item 2]. Which would you recommend?
  • I’m always looking for great dining recommendations. Do you have any favorites in the area?
  • I’m usually more comfortable talking to people with food in my hand. I’m [name], nice to meet you.


  • What do you love most about your line of work?
  • Who are some of your favorite experts or authors or bloggers or industry leaders?
  • How did you get into the industry?
  • What was the best/worst piece of advice you got early on in your career?
  • What are the upcoming trends in your industry?
  • How did you hear about this event?
  • Is this your first time at this event?
  • Did you hear X speak?
  • Do you know so-and-so? or Do you know so-and-so well? Or how do you know so-and-so?
  • Have you ever been to X down the street? I’ve really wanted to check it out.
  • Is there one nugget of brilliance that’s really resonating with you
  • What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
  • If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out in your field, what would it be?
  • What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on recently?
  • What do you think will be the biggest game-changer in your industry in the next 5 years?


  • What charities are you involved in?
  • Describe you best client
  • Describe your worst client
  • What was the last referral you got from Provisors?
  • What was the last referral you gave to another Provisors member?
  • What do you do with your free time.
  • How was traffic coming in?
  • How is the food here compared to other groups?
  • Any weird troika’s?
  • What professional is missing from your group?
  • Tell me something that is not generally known about you.
  • [Where] Are you traveling this summer (winter)? OR Any vacations coming up?
  • What was the last movie [concert, game] you saw?
  • What’s the most memorable networking event you’ve attended?
  • If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
  • What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
  • If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?
  • What’s the most interesting place you’ve traveled to?
  • Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
  • If you could switch jobs with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to guest in person?

Pick 3 groups in the same geographic area and guest every other month like a daisy chain. By the end of 6 months, each of the groups’ members will “feel” as if you are a member of their group. Plus, people tend to guest at neighboring groups which gives you multiple touch points with the same people.

What is the best thing to do BEFORE you attend a Zoom meeting?

Look at the PDF of all the attendees before the meeting. Cherry pick 2 people that you think you could do business with – that means you could make a referral to them or vice versa. Then ping them during the meeting using the Zoom chat tool. Try to establish a rapport. Then shoot for a followup meeting to nurture the connection.

How can I get more attention at a meeting to be more noticed (and remembered)?

Create something of value from your industry that you can give away. For example, if you are a real estate broker, then create a list of 10 things you can do in your home to increase value. Put the info in a PDF or a web page and distribute it via the zoom chat. If it’s a live meeting, then hand out a flyer. Provisors used to love these flyers (then called one sheets)

What’s the best way to discover a referral I can give?

The more time you spend in Provisors the more your brain changes. It evolves. Conversations with friends and colleagues become natural havens for discovery of helping them solve pains in their businesses. Whether they are doctors or business owners or service professionals, everyone has a problem in their business. Just get yourself accustomed to asking people what’s going wrong in their businesses (in a nice way of course).

How to best prepare for a troika?

I know this takes time and I don’t do it often enough but this is what it takes to maximize your Provisors efforts. Look at the LinkedIn profiles of the people in your troika. Learn about their careers and experiences. Then, look at a few of their 1st tier connections to see if there is someone you would like to be introduced to OR see if there is someone in your network you can introduce them to?

Do you only have to refer business introductions for client engagements?

Absolutely not. There is a reason for thankamonials too. You can make intros to help people grow their own Rolodexes too. Not every intro has to lead to a signed contract. If your intro adds value to the recipient (especially if it helps one of their clients) then it starts the circle moving to come back to you.

What kind of reputation should I shoot for in Provisors?

This is a freebie. People want to work with people who are givers. We are all experts in our fields. And Provisors is self-selecting in the sense that people who join to network are typically people who are givers. But there are talkers and there are walkers. Walk the walk. Ensure that when you walk into a meeting, someone is going to raise their hand and talk about you because you gave them something of value.

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