I never seem to be able to end a conversation when networking as I don’t want to offend, so I stand there listening to someone go on forever. This article by Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI, offers some great tips. As the Founder of the largest networking group around I think he would know a few things about conversations and networking. I enjoyed networking in BNI for several years. This would be my favorite advice he offers.
Whatever you do, don’t “Seinfeld it.” One of the really funny things on the old TV series Seinfeld was how the characters would go off on some crazy, complicated subterfuge or ruse and end up getting in more trouble than if they had just been candid to start with.
I have seen people do that and it never is as funny as Seinfeld. Be authentic. No use lying because you WILL run into them again. Another suggestion I found very useful was
Simply say something like, “It was really nice meeting you. Do you have a card so I can have your contact information. Thanks.” That’s it. No fuss. No muss. No big deal. Don’t apologize because you have to go network and definitely don’t say you see someone else you need to talk to. Simply thank them and move on.
Practice this next time you are in a networking situation and need to move along. I know I am going to try it and see how well it works for me. To read the complete article by Ivan click here.