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Imagine you’re at an event looking to expand your network and meet new professionals. You initiated a conversation and have had an engaging and informative talk. All your questions have been answered and you’re looking to move on and meet someone new. Often, ending networking conversations can be a challenging and awkward experience. So, the question is: how do you end the conversation and leave the right impression with your new connection?
This could be the start of an important relationship, so leaving politely and professionally is your main goal. Picking the right time, such as the end of a topic of discussion, being honest, and exchanging contact information are all vital to a proper ending. But to make yourself stand out and make the most of your new connection, a little extra goes a long way.
Here are five simple ways to end a networking conversation gracefully and leave the right impression.
1. Make an Introduction
“I’d love to introduce you to someone else I met tonight.” “I’ll leave you two to get acquainted.”
Helping others connect is a win-win for everyone involved. Career and self-development expert Kat Boogaard recommends weaving your conversation into a new one, with new people.
Offering to introduce your new connection to an old acquaintance can build an interconnected relationship, and give you a perfect opportunity to excuse yourself. Your friend will appreciate the effective icebreaker, while the simple introduction builds your reputation as a well-connected and beneficial business contact.
Effortlessly note important details and view a timeline of your past and future interactions with each relationship. And with the upcoming release of the Introductions feature, Super Connectors will be able to make introductions anywhere, anytime.
2. Ask for an Introduction
“I promised myself I’d meet 3 new people this evening. Who would you suggest I talk to next?”
A basic tip for any networking event is to come with a plan; oftentimes, this entails talking to a certain number of people or concentrating on a set group. Using your new connection to help you stick to your plan can be useful for ending conversations and starting new ones.
As executive coach and keynote speaker Morag Barrett explains, if your conversation partner knows others at the event, they can be an effective icebreaker. Plus, like in our previous example, they also gain by becoming known as a connector.
3. Make it Benefit Them
“I don’t want to take up all your time, it was great chatting with you!”
Networking is all about reciprocation. Helping each other develops connections and promotes future contact and assistance. Sophie Deering, a content marketer and blogger, highlights this approach when ending a conversation.
Instead of making your exit about you, explain how they benefit from you leaving. More time to talk to others, take a break, and get some refreshments is always much appreciated.
4. Plan a Follow-Up
“I had a great time talking with you—are you planning to go to the expo next month? It seems like something that would be relevant to both of us, so maybe we could go together.”
A common mistake during networking events is failing to develop the relationship you started in your initial conversation. To build a lasting relationship, corporate communications professional Jessica Taylor recommends planning an event that is relevant to both of you.
Maybe there’s an industry conference, keynote speaker, or expo in the coming weeks that they’re likely to attend. Offering to attend with them demonstrates that you truly want to build a relationship. Even if they cannot or are unwilling to attend with you, you’ve left a lasting, positive impression.
If you don’t have any events in mind at that moment, you can always follow-up after. To make sure you don’t lose touch, UpHabit‘s Reminder feature comes in handy. With reminders set with different intervals for every contact, you can maintain a strong relationship even after the event.
5. Wrap-up the Conversation
“Marie, I’ve really enjoyed talking about hiking. I promised myself I would meet and speak to at least three people today. I’ll be sure to check out the website you mentioned.”
According to networking guru Sabrina Risley, ending a conversation can oftentimes leave people thinking you didn’t enjoy talking to them or found the conversation boring. To remove this negative assumption, wrap-up the conversation in a personal manner.
During your conversation, make sure to note the different personal and professional details your new connection mentions. Then, when closing the conversation, reiterate these topics. This shows that you paid attention and actually connected with the individual.
When networking, adding a personal touch goes a long way in leaving a positive impression. To help you remember the small details that mean the most in professional and personal relationships, you can use UpHabit’s Notes feature.
Ending a networking conversation, whether in-person or virtually, can seem like a simple yet daunting task. But by remembering these five simple endings, you can leave the right impression and help develop your new-found relationships. Being polite, professional, and honest will lead to an effective conclusion to any conversation.