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Elegant Exits: Making the Most of Your Networking Time | Print |  E-mail

Has this ever happened to you?  You're at a networking event with
the intention of meeting new people, yet you find yourself stuck in
a conversation with no end in sight and you don't know what to do. 

Although you've heard us say that networking is about forming
relationships over time, when you're at an event, you might want to
meet as many people as possible. This means circulating the room
and not spending too much time talking with any one person.

Under normal circumstances you might consider it rude to exit a
conversation after only a few minutes, but at a business networking
event, after five minutes or so, it's time for you to exchange
cards and move on.  When you meet someone you'd like to spend more
time with, make an appointment to get together at a later date and
then continue mingling with others.

If you feel awkward ending a conversation after a few minutes,
think of it like this - you are doing yourself and your partner a
favor.  You are honoring your own commitment to make business
connections through networking, and, you're allowing your partner
to move on and meet more people as well.  It's easy to politely end
the conversation.

Not sure what to say?  Here are some elegant exits for you to use:

"It was nice meeting you.  Enjoy the event."

"I know you're here to meet as many people as possible so I won't
take any more of your time."

"Let's get out our calendars and set up a time to get together."

"Do you have a business card?  I'd love to be in touch."

"I've challenged myself to meet 5 people tonight and I still need
to meet 3 more. It's been nice talking to you."

"I have something I need to ask [insert name] about.  Please excuse

"I want to connect with 2 more people and then head home for the

"I'm going to refresh my food or drink."

And last but not least, you can simply introduce the person you're
talking to to someone else and then move on to another conversation.

These exits are easy, they're elegant, and they allow you to move
to another person without feeling uncomfortable.  The next time you
feel stuck in a conversation, we challenge you to use an elegant
exit and move on to a scintillating conversation with another person.


You are welcome to reprint and distribute copies of our articles provided you follow our reprint guidelines .   

Copyright © 2012, The Networking Gurus, Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold.

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