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When making contacts at a conference or mixer, you already know not to dominate the conversation. Listen more. Here’s another tip: Ask an opening question you know the answer to. This helps you steer the dialogue. For example, if you’ve heard that a retailer is opening a new store—and you meet a representative of that retailer—ask, “Are you opening any new stores?” Be ready to follow up. Not only will you set in motion a lively conversation, but you’ll learn.