While questioning, take time to preface several questions with the information you know about the company or person.
“I see your revenues in the past three years have grown substantially more than over the past ten years by 10% per annum, what do you feel has contributed to this recent growth?”
Do your homework. Think of a client you’re going to meet and practice prefacing several questions with the knowledge you have.
Having this knowledge, you will also alleviate your fear of asking a simple and irritating question to the person your communicating with and contribute to a constructive conversation. You will avoid, “So how’s the company doing?”
“I not only use all the brains that I have but all that I can borrow.”