We’ve all been there, ‘stuck’ with someone at networking, maybe it’s just time to move on, perhaps talking to them is like getting blood out of a stone or perhaps you just can’t stop them talking at you or, you just need a drink or bathroom visit.
The temptation is to make an excuse, a need for the bathroom, a drink top up or maybe spotting someone you have to speak to. However, if you are in a pair, always avoid using any of these excuses, even if they are genuine. Why? The risk they will feel ‘dumped’. Even if you don’t think they are a warm prospect or they don’t seem to have great connections, you don’t want anyone feeling this way about you, especially at networking. It’s a waste of what you’ve already put into building a relationship with that person and you want to be positively talked about at an event. If you ‘dump’ someone at an event, you’ll potentially decrease any positive impact you had on them.
People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
However, the need to ‘escape’, for whatever reason (specific need or wanting to move on) is still there, so here are my top networking tips for doing so when you are talking to just one other person:
· Say that you should both meet some more people, so suggest joining another ‘open’ group.
· Suggest getting a drink top up, often you/they will get talking to others on the way/at the bar or drinks table.
·  Offer to introduce them to someone else you know at the event. Just be careful that it’s a relevant intro and your existing contact doesn’t bemoan you for being left with this person.
·  If you have an urgent need to leave them and none of these options are available, leave something of yours with them, whilst you go to the bathroom/get a drink etc.. They will know you are coming back and probably will start to speak to someone whilst you are gone.
Remember, unless someone is rude or behaves inappropriately, you want everyone to feel as positive about you as possible and feel you enjoyed speaking to them.
This article might may you wary to join a person standing alone at an event, but often they’ll be very grateful. Being on their phone in the event room is often a show of nervousness, not an urgent need to do something! Just be careful how you leave them.
If you want to have a positive impact at events, devise a networking strategy and get to grips with key ways to enjoy events more and get more from them, contact me [email protected]I run group workshops and work with people 1-2-1 in both large corporates and very small companies, as well as speak at events on this important topic that helps to progress careers and grow businesses.
Image thanks to freeimages.com/BillyAlexander