You wanted more examples of awkward business networking moments and how to handle them, you got it!

But first, it’s important to keep a few important ideas in mind.

  • Networking is about learning from and helping others. That’s it! Don’t let anyone take you off your game.
  • For networking to take, you have to give. What can you give? Offer your interest, ideas, questions, and intention to collaborate, learn more, and possibly stay in touch. This, of course, is situational.
  • Stay focused in your communication. Be specific about what you do, your target market, centers of influence (those that can naturally refer you). Of course, ask questions about these topics when meeting others.
  • Always be polite, professional, respectful, and just roll with the unexpected. Expect the unexpected.

As I mentioned in my last post, awkward moments happen. While dining at restaurants, shopping in stores, interacting with children, and of course when meeting people at business networking events, mixers, cocktail parties, and conferences.

Here are some “more” awkward networking moments and what to do!

Something Weird Happens
You know, like an earthquake, solar eclipse, or global pandemic. I remember speaking with two young men in business suits at a conference. I was the speaker and they seemed nervous talking to me. As one spoke, a saliva bubble floated out of his mouth, and we just awkwardly stared at it as it floated by and finally collided into the other guy’s lapel. They didn’t know what to say. As soon as I laughed and said you couldn’t plan that any better, the ice was broken. Love, laugh, learn.

You’re Being Sold To
Do you own a home?” Yep, someone I met opened with that question. I said yes, but I’m not looking to do business with someone I just met right out of the gate. I would love to network with you if you’re open to comparing notes and exploring ways of helping one another? What do you think?

How to Offer Your Business Card or Contact Info
Suggest exchanging cards and explain why. Make it a mutual gesture.

When to End a Conversation
I use 8-10 minutes as a mental guideline. If it feels like there’s more to discuss, great. If there is a lull in the conversation, use that as your cue.

They Seem to Do All the Talking
Often, it’s all about them. Some people are simply chattier than others. Ask questions to break the pattern and offer ways as to how you might be able to relate in your own business. Remember, we don’t click with everyone.

You Get Interrupted or Intercepted by a Third Party
Jane has taken over! As that happens, politely interject, and introduce yourself. That will break the pattern and bring you into the mix.

How to End a Conversation If There’s Nothing More to Discuss
I simply say, “It’s been nice speaking with you. Should we meet some others? Why don’t you join me?” (If appropriate.)

How to End a Conversation If There IS More to Discuss
Would you be open to exchanging contact info? We can continue our conversation about…” I’ll reconnect with you tomorrow to coordinate. (Be the one to initiate the next step.)

How to End a Conversation by Introducing Someone Else
Let me introduce you to Tom. This may be a great mutual connection because…”

IMPORTANT: If you don’t wish to continue a conversation with someone, it’s always best to be upfront like I’m suggesting above. If you say you’re going to get food or use the restroom, you may have someone tag along.


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