No matter how many networking events we attend, we always seem to be confronted with the same problem time and time again: remembering another person’s name. You’re not alone. The reason I decided to write this article is because I find it’s the most common problem professionals or entrepreneurs have at networking events. Good news is: it’s one of the easiest for us to overcome.
Before I get started with the three steps to remembering names, let’s first understand why it is so important.
At networking events, we are there to impress. Not to impress with our intelligence or our wit, but to impress by making other people feel special. How do you do this? You remember and use their name. Simple. That is how you will stand out.
When we hear another person say our name, something clicks inside of us and we get a reaction of pure joy because we feel important enough for that ‘stranger’ to remember who we are. Think back to a time when a person you just met remembered your name. How did it make you feel? More importantly, does that person still stand out in your mind?
To help you become that person who shines at networking events, here are three simple steps to help you remember other people’s names.
1. Listen For Their Name
More often than not, when we meet somebody new we are so preoccupied with our own thoughts such as ‘Where did I put my business cards?’, or ‘What should I say next?’, that we miss the most important part of the introduction: the other person’s name. When you meet somebody for the first time, take a breath, look him or her in the eye and make yourself available mentally so that you are there when they say their name.
2. Repeat Their Name
This is most valuable piece of advice I have to give for remembering names. Repeat the other person’s name as soon as they say it. Think back to your school days, no matter how many books you read about a specific topic, it was only when you created a presentation and talked about that topic that you really grasped it, right? The same applies to the seemingly simple task of remembering names. Try simple sentences such as “Diane, it’s nice to meet you”, or “John, have you been to this event before?” These sentences will reinforce their name in your mind, and will immediately make the other person feel special. Double bonus points!
3. Make it Visual
If in your bundle of nerves, you’ve forgotten steps one and two above, don’t panic, you still have a chance to recover. Your solution here is to make their name visual and see it written down. Ask for their business card, and you will have their name written in black and white for you to keep and recall. Plus, you now have that person’s contact details, which makes your follow up e-mail or phone call easy. And, they will most likely ask for your business card in response. Great marketing initiative and successful networking done!
What issues do you commonly face at networking events? I’d love to hear what you have to say. Leave your comments below.
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