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. How do you leave someone at networking?
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 leave someone at networking, 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.
To read my complete guide to networking at events, click here.
This article might make you wary to speak to someone who is standing alone at an event, but often they’ll be very grateful. Someone on their phone at an event with the other attendees (rather than outside of the main room) is often a show of nervousness, not an urgent need to do something! Just be careful how you leave them.
Networking is one of the Nine Neglected Skills needed for career success, if you would like advice and tips on all nine, including a free downloadable Booklet, complete the form below: