Got To Get Away?

Whether you’re at a networking function, anxious to work the rest of the room but gridlocked by one conversation, or you run into someone on the street that you know but don’t want to speak to for an extended period of time, you feel the need to get away—graciously, but quickly.

So how can you make an exit without being rude? Andrea Nierenberg, who runs a business training and development firm in New York City, addresses this most necessary of skills in her latest book, Million Dollar Networking. Here’s what she suggests you might say for the perfect exit strategy:

“It was great meeting you and I hope we can continue our conversation over lunch or coffee.”

“Thanks for sharing the information about your new project. It sounds exciting. Best of continued success.”

“Please excuse me, I see a friend I’d like to go over and visit with. Enjoy your evening.”

“I enjoyed hearing about your company and look forward to seeing you again.”

“Let me introduce you to ___________. He may be a good person to discuss some of the challenges you are facing.

“I’m so glad we met. Lots of good luck, and if I hear anything that might be a fit for you, I’ll definitely be in touch.”

... and don’t forget to ask for a business card! In these situations, it is never easy to make a sudden departure, but applying one of the lines above, along with a firm and warm handshake, will make you appear busy but professional — and above all, gracious.