We’ve all been there. The conversation was going well at first, until the other party took over and began a long, drawn-out conversation for which your input wasn’t needed (and maybe not even wanted). That’s when you realize you’ve run into a person who wants to talk only about himself and isn’t really into listening or asking questions about you and your business.
What do you do in such a situation? How do you extricate yourself from a conversation that’s truly going nowhere without seeming rude?
The good news is, you do have options. The bad news is, you may need to use them more often than you’d like (there are a lot of self-absorbed, rambler types out there).
Here’s what you can do:
The simplest, most direct way to get out of a dead-end conversation is to ask the other party to excuse you, so you can do one of the following:
- Use the restroom
- Get a drink of water or other refreshment
- Make a call
You could also tell the rambler that you need to stretch your legs or get some air, but this could make your need to simply get away obvious.
Remember, despite the fact that all of that rambling is annoying, you don’t want to make a negative impression. You never know if you’ll need that connection at some point in the future.
Get Some Closure
You know how ordering coffee or dessert after dinner signals that dinner is coming to an end? The same thing can work with a business card. Tell the other party that his or her business sounds interesting and ask for a business card.
Then, tell him or her to let you know if there’s any way you can help. Wait for the talker to reach for the business card. Then it’s just a quick “Thanks” and a “Nice to meet you,” and you’re out of there.
Include Someone Else
Look around the room and draw someone else into the conversation. Introduce the rambler to the person you’ve called (suckered) over. This will do one of two things. It may stop the rambler long enough for the new party, or you, to start a brand-new conversation thread. If that doesn’t work, it will at least give you an opening to excuse yourself graciously.
It pays to be prepared. Keep these simple tips in mind for your next business networking event.
Have tips to add to this list? Include them in the Comments section below.
Liked this post? Subscribe to our newsletter for more tips!