4 ways to seamlessly finish a conversation without making the other person feel dumped

So you’re at a networking event and have had a great chat with someone new, but there are a handful of other people you’d still like to introduce yourself to.

Instead of staring back at them blankly, waiting for the conversation to end organically, consider using one of these four methods to keep moving forward.

Say you’d like to see them again another time

Jessica Taylor, a corporate communications professional, explains how “to plan a follow-up date” at the end of a networking conversation in The Muse.

“If you think that you’ll run into a new contact at another upcoming event, why not plan to attend together? This helps you build a relationship with a good connection and can help you feel more comfortable at that next event.

Try: 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.

Prove that you haven’t been tuning them out

Lynne Waymon, an author and co-owner of networking firm Contacts Count, gave The Wall Street Journal some lines you can use to show this before ending a conversation at a holiday party.

She suggested, “it sounds as if we have a lot of common interests,” and “It’s been a pleasure meeting you. So interesting to learn about you and your family.”

Get their information

Maggie Zhang, formerly a Business Insider intern (who now works for global design company IDEO), writes in the publication that one way to end a conversation at a party is to “ask for their business card or contact information.” This could also work at a networking event.

The section features advice from Leil Lowndes, author of How To Talk To Anyone.

“It naturally implies that the conversation is coming to an end, but it also shows that you want to stay in touch with them for the future. When you take their business card, make sure you don’t just stuff it in your purse. ‘Take a moment to look at it,’ advises Lowndes. ‘It’s a sign of respect.’ ”

Use the other person as a springboard to move forward

Minda Zetlin, co-author of The Geek Gap, writes in Inc. that you should “ask who else you should meet,” and features advice from Morag Barrett, an author, leadership coach and HR consultant.

“ ‘I promised myself I would meet three new people this evening. Who would you suggest I talk to next?’ This approach works especially well if the person you’re talking with knows a lot of other people at the event. They might even make an introduction to help things along. If they don’t have a suggestions for whom you should meet, say thank you and move on, Barrett advises.”