In conducting over 200 interviews and consultations in the last 5 months, one of my top 10 most asked question is “How do I get people to remember me?” It comes in different forms; how do I get noticed? How do I get people interested in me? How do I get people’s attention? How do I leave a lasting impression on high profile people?
I know a number of you may be thinking ‘“remember”? I can’t even start a conversation, talk more of getting people to remember me. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
A lot of people do not like to call someone after an event and have to introduce themselves again.
You: “Hi, this is Christy”
Them: “Christy, who?”
You: “The lady you met at the Fashion Party, I was wearing a neon pink dress”
Them: “Sorry, doesn’t ring a bell?”
You: “I was wearing a pigeon on my head”
Them: “Oh, you! How are you?”
I can see how that can be a nightmare. So, what can you do to avoid having to describe yourself to people over and over again? What do you need to do to get people to remember you?
You need to be memorable when you meet them and remain memorable after you meet them.
When you meet people, especially high profile people, you want to compliment them on something they put a lot of effort into. How do you know what someone has put a lot of effort into? You will need to be more observant, notice things about them, are their nails beautifully done? Does their hair look like a lot of time went into it? Is their outfit really pretty? Are they always on point? Honest compliments go a long way. Never compliment someone on something you don’t really like, more often than not, it projects a negative reaction. People can sense these things.
For high profile people, more often than not, their work is really important to them. Do you love what they do? Has their work improved your life in any way? Tell them about it.
You need to make sure your intentions are positive and pure. Why do you want to get to know this person? Is it so you can continually take from them? Is it purely so they can help you? That’s not a great place to be coming from, rather, think: How can I help them?
If you have negative intentions you will get negative reactions, not necessarily at that moment but negative reactions to negative intentions will show up in the long run. It’s just the law of reciprocity at work; you get what you put out. As an entrepreneur, does everyone just look like a potential pay cheque or do you genuinely want to help people?
Listen more than you speak
One misconception about networking is the idea that you need to talk a lot. This puts a lot of shy and introverted people off networking. The best networkers and conversationalists in the world listen more than they speak; they ask a lot of questions and let people tell their stories. People like to talk about themselves once they are comfortable. To find out more about how to get people comfortable, click here to download my guide with conversation starters.
Another thing that comes up a lot in my consultations is the ‘what do I say after hello & hi?’. It is a valid question. How will a person remember you, if you cannot go beyond your usual 3 questions, right?
You want to ask questions around their background (where did you grow up?, What was it like growing up in that city? what school did you go to?), questions around their family (how many siblings do they have? What is it like being an only child; do you miss not having siblings? Do you have family here?), questions around their work (what do you do?), as long as you don’t ask questions like you are interviewing people you will be fine.
People can sense it when you are just being curious. Think about this for a moment: have you ever had a child ask you a question that was beyond ridiculous or borderline offensive but you answered anyway because you knew that child was just curious? The same applies here.
Be genuinely interested in people
Listen to what people have to say, listen to their stories. Most times we meet people and feel they are too different from us to ‘click’ and we miss out on forming mutually beneficial relationships with amazing people just because we sense they are different. A lot of us are this way, it is not our fault, society and media makes us this way, when we meet people the first thing we think about is how different they are from us: he schooled outside the country and I didn’t, she has natural hair and I have a weave, he studied engineering and I studied art, he is black and I am white, he is a banker and I am a teacher, he is rich and I am poor. We need to switch that thought process and focus instead on what we have in common. We do this by listening more than we speak and asking questions. When I meet people, I play a game where I have to find something I have in common with the individual. That is one of my biggest networking tips because people like people who are like them.
Think about this for a moment, if you meet two people, A and B, let’s say you love yoga, art, fashion, food and tiny dogs. Mr A also loves fashion and yoga but Mr B loves nothing that you love, as a matter of fact B thinks small dogs carry germs, fashion is for snobs and yoga is dodgy who do you think you will like more? A or B?
“People like people who are like them”
If you are genuinely interested in what people have to say and your intentions are pure, they will open up to you.
Here’s how to remain memorable after you leave:
Connect within 48 hours
After you connect with someone, you want to make sure to get in touch with them within 48 hours. Send them a message and tell them how great it was to meet them, if you both have a unique interest, you can mention how refreshing it is to meet someone that shares that interest. People tend to forget you after 48 hours of meeting you; you cannot blame them as there is so much on their minds; petrol for NGN 145 per litre or 4 tomatoes for N500 or their kid’s school fees that is due in a few days. So you want to make sure you get in touch with them as soon as possible.
Add value to them
You want to make sure you are not a constant taker, be a giver. You want people to see your name on their caller ID and think, “it’s always nice to hear from her”, you want people to be happy that they are part of your circle.
You want to add value to people, value does not necessarily mean money, value means: a listening ear, time, a YouTube video link that will help them with that thing they mentioned they were struggling with, a Bellanaija article that sheds new light on something they mentioned, a funny video to brighten their day and the list goes on. If you are one of those amazing people that seeks to be impactful, remember, you cannot give what you do not have. Constantly develop yourself, learn a new skill, enrol for a course, so you have knowledge to offer people and make an impact in their life.
Keep in touch
Come up with a bite sized system for keeping in touch with people you meet and find interesting. Bite sized being the key clause; you want to start something you can finish, something you can be consistent with.
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