Networking Tactics : Remembering Names
What do you do when you meet someone and you cannot remember their name? That can be embarrassing. I have observed this many times over the years during networking events. I have also observed the different ways others have dealt with forgetting someone’s name. Some have just faked it by engaging in a conversation hoping to get a clue. They try to remember where the other person was from or how they knew them. On the other hand, I have heard people come right out and say, “Hey, I’m sorry I forgot your name” or “I’m sorry I do not remember where you’re from”.
What not to do when you cannot remember a name
If it happens to you, I recommend that you do not say, “I’m sorry, I forgot your name” or “I don’t remember where you’re from”. I have found that people sometimes take it personally that you can’t remember them. No reason to embarrass yourself and embarrass them because you don’t know who they are. They might begin to avoid you because you did not recognize them earlier.
Finally, you do not want to say, “Nice to meet you”. Even if you do not remember meeting the person, they clearly know you, so you are most likely not “meeting them” for the first time.
What to do instead
When you forget someone’s name, I recommend saying, “Hi, good to see you”, then strike up a simple conversation to help you remember based upon the current situation or event you are attending. Starting a dialogue is a great way to shake up the gray matter in your head to try to remember who they are. If you still cannot remember after conversing a while, it’s time to stop trying and move along. Before leaving tell them, “Hey, it was nice to see you again. Gotta run. Talk to you again next time”.
It can be challenging to remember names, especially if you’re an avid networker.
OK, not remembering someone’s name has happened to me too. Saying “good to see you”, then engaging in a dialogue is a great approach to remember their name. If you absolutely do not want to use this technique, a fall-back approach can be one that someone once shared with me: “Sorry, I don’t recall where we’ve met”. Feel free to use that if you do not feel very brave with the “good to see you” approach. However, be prepared for some bruised feelings.
If you’ve ever been approached by someone and drawn a complete blank trying to remember their name, or even where you know them from, you know how awkward and embarrassing that situation can be. Finally, always wear your name badge when networking in person so that the people you meet can easily remember your name.
Let's see the four-step process that will help you to remember people’s names–and it actually works
1. Repetition is key.
When you are introduced to someone new, ask for their business card and read it carefully. Then, read the name on the card and ask them to repeat it; it will help lock the face with the name. “Hi! It’s great to meet you, Chetan Patel. It’s pronounced Chetan, yes?”
2. Use their name in conversation.
When you begin a conversation, listen to what they are saying and respond by using their name; “Wow, Chetan, that sounds like an incredible opportunity! I’d love to sit down with you over lunch and talk more.”
3. Connect them with others and use their name in the introduction.
You are networking after all, so it’s important to connect with others if you can. When introducing two people, use their names when they first meet. “Mitul, I’d like you to meet Chetan. Chetan is a coach who is working hard for making a surat to silicon valley. I bet you two would have a lot to talk about!”
4. Dedicate it to memory.
Once you’ve left the networking event and you’re back at home or work, take out the business card and try and remember what that person looked like and what they were doing and saying. Maybe even send them a quick “nice to meet you” email/ Whatsapp of Text SMS to help you remember the conversation you had.
Next time when you go to a networking event try this technique!!
Yeah, I’d say remembering someone’s name is high up in the list of mannerisms that will impress others in networking. It shows you pay attention to detail, you listen well and are interested in the person, not just their business only.