Young entrepreneurs often find themselves contemplating questions like “I am having problems. People seem to forget me right away. I always remember meeting them but, they have no clue. I think I’m just not memorable enough. What can I do?”
If you find yourself asking the same questions, take a cue from the following tips.
1. ME TOO!!!
The fastest way to get someone to like you is to find something in common with them. People will trust and relate to you if they feel you share a bond. It can be something as simple as coming from the same hometown, going to the same school or even that you just like the same breed of dog or the color orange. People that like and trust you will remember you. (Be sincere – do not make things up to have something in common. People know when they’re being played.)
2. ARE YOU KIDDING?
Pique a person’s interest. Do not kill the beginnings of a great conversation with dull, closed-ended answers. Make them want to know about you and what you do. Instead of saying “I am a technology entrepreneur,” (assumes the person you’re talking to will never understand what you do and it’s kind of boring), try “I am launching a business that will enable you to connect with a doctor without ever leaving home.”
3. BE YOU, ONLY BRING A SIGNATURE
What is your typical business attire? What do you wear outside of business-related activities? Is there a way to bring some of your casual personal style into your business wear? If you are young, be very careful doing this – there is a fine line between having a style and being silly and pretentious. Think of Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck, Tucker Carlson’s bowties or Ellen DeGeneres’ refusal to wear a dress … is there something you have that could make you stand out? Glasses? Colorful socks? A signature color or piece of unusual jewelry? You want to be remembered and it’s great to add a style to your brand, just don’t make yourself memorable by being ridiculous.
4. I’M NOT MUCH, BUT I’M ALL I THINK ABOUT
It’s universal. People love to talk about themselves. While it may seem counter-intuitive to ask lots of questions of people you hope will pay attention to you, it’s true. People will remember you for asking thoughtful, interesting questions because it makes them feel appreciated and understood. If you are talking to people in your parents’ age group, or a few years younger, ask about their kids. You might have some insights on college, high school sports or some other kid-related thing they’d appreciate.
Just keep it about them, not you. Interestingly, if you follow this advice, you will often find yourself back at suggestion #2 – Me too! The more you ask about another person the more likely it is you’ll find something the two of you have in common.
5. ME AGAIN!
Find a reason to follow up with people you really hope to develop a relationship with. Always get contact information and if you can, follow up. A quick email: “Hi, I called my grandma in Sicily and here is the recipe we were talking about the other night.”
It could be anything that will get them to remember and acknowledge you. If you see an article or website about something you talked about, send that. Keep the connection going without being obnoxious or heavy-handed and you will see results.
These five things can make you think differently about your interactions with others. Try them out, and you will discover that it isn’t really difficult to make yourself stand out more and the people you talk to will not only not forget you, they will remember you … and they may even tell others.