Several people have asked me recently about how they can avoid getting stuck with the same person the whole time at a business networking event. In other words, how to end a conversation politely and move on.
Has this happened to you?
Here's the short answer: find out how you can help the other person network, then do so - and you're free!
What do I mean by this?
Well, most people attend business mixers and networking events for a reason.
So ask the person you're “stuck with" what they're looking for.
Are they looking for some information about something? Or do they want to perhaps meet people within a certain industry or in particular job positions?
Some people may not be clear about exactly what they want - which is probably why they're stuck in one conversation. Or they may not know *how* to ask for what they want.
Either way, you can help the situation by asking questions until you have a sense of why they came to this event.
Once you have this information, you can introduce them to someone you know who can help - i. e. someone who can provide the information this person may be looking for, or who works in the industry of interest, etc.
If you can't find or don't know an “exact match", you can perhaps introduce them to someone you do know, or maybe even the meeting organizer, who may be able to help this person better. (Think of it as stepping stones towards a goal. )
Once you make the introduction, you're free to move on.
What you've just done is helped one person connect with another, based on their specific interest or need.
As you can see, this is not a “technique" or a well-rehearsed exit strategy. This is networking - the real thing.
Easy, right? In fact, networking *is* easy. That's why I call my program Effortless Networking!
(c) Copyright 2006, Srirupa Dasgupta
Sri Dasgupta helps business professionals get better results from their business networking efforts through focused and relevant conversations. She is the author of the Effortless Networking , and writes regular articles offering business networking tips and related resources.