We have all been in a situation where we are at a networking event and we have just met someone interesting, we are engrossed in engaging conversation and you just can’t remember their name. Not only is it embarrassing, but it doesn’t leave a great first impression. So how do you address this challenge?
When I got into the networking game, I was initially horrible with remembering names. I was great at faces, but just couldn’t remember names. I knew that I would need to change this. So I started trying a few methods and finally I got a simple 3-step process that really worked for me. In fact this helped me gain a great reputation as a person who remembers people’s names and leave a lasting positive impression.
So here they are:
- Clarify the name – when you make the initial introduction, ask the other person for their business card and take a moment to read their name and designation. If you are unfamiliar with the name then ask them to pronounce it for you and make sure you repeat their name. Ask them if you have got the pronunciation correct. If necessary ask them to break it up in a simple phonetic manner so you can easily grasp it.
- Repeat their name 3 times in conversation – In the course of conversation use their name at least three times. For example if you have just met Rajesh, then start with the following: “Rajesh, tell me what do you do?”After he tells you what he does, you might follow up with such a response: “That’s great Rajesh, what sort of clients do you enjoy working with?”After you finish networking her you may want to end is such a way: “Rajesh it was wonderful meeting you today. I look forward to remaining in touch and please let me know if I can be of help in the future.”There is nothing sweeter than the sound of your name and no one will ever say to you stop using my name. In fact it will help you build greater rapport.
- Review their card – After attending the networking event, take a few minutes to go through all the cards you have collected. With each name, try and put a face to the name. Also try and link someone you know as this will help create lasting neuro associations in your brain. For example in this case, I could say to myself that Rajesh reminds me of my cousin Rajesh, who is also an accountant.
Bonus Tip: Finally this is my bonus tip to take your remembering names to the next level – take a photo of their card in Evernote® and save as a “business card”. I have subscribed for their paid premium version. This handy service allows you to connect to the person through Linkedin® and syncs your records with their profile.
In additional notes I also add where and where I met them first and their profession. If a mutual friend introduced me, I would also add their name in the note.
Follow these 3 simple steps you will remember names easily and make a lasting impression on your network. Leave a comment with any additional tips you use to remember names.