There are some guaranteed ways to be remembered: Be obnoxious. Try to sell them something when you first meet. Interrupt them. Don't listen. Be very strange.
Obviously, this isn't the way you want to be remembered. But you also don't want to be so blandly nice that they can't remember you except for a vague "umm, he's nice." Here are several ways to make sure that they remember you in a good way.
- Be Interested in Them: There is nothing nicer than feeling like someone finds you fascinating. You'll remember their interest and studies show that they'll think you're smarter, funnier and all around more interesting yourself! We know this because people generally don’t remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel. If they feel like you listened and were interested in them, like you thought they had something valuable to contribute and that you liked them personally, they will feel great and they’ll attach that feeling to you.
- Help Them Remember: Unless you have a very unusual name or occupation, assume that they need some help remembering you. Since one of the most common networking problems people say they have is remembering names, try to make it as easy as possible for them by giving them a memorable association to your name.
And, give them a signature story or characteristic that they can attach to you. In the future, don't make them uncomfortable by assuming they remembered you. For more on how to handle that problem, check out this issue of The Networking Motivator (tm) Newsletter.
- Remind Them: In advertising the general rule of thumb is that it takes seven exposures to a message for someone to remember it. Why should we expect to be clearly remembered ourselves with just one meeting? There’s a saying that “the fortune is in the follow-up” but so is the formation of memory. Increase your number of exposures by sending them a thank you note that includes a brief summary of what you discussed (include a reference to your memorable “hook” or one of your stories).
You can continue to follow up with relevant information that they would appreciate (and that would show you are a good listener). For example, they may have mentioned that they were considering advertising in a particular publication. If you know someone else who also advertised in it, consider connecting the two together. Your new contact will get the benefit of someone elses experience and your existing contact will get the benefit of making a new connection.
Do you have a way of making sure that people remember you?
Photo courtesy of teclasorg from Flickr