Going to networking events and having the other attendees leave with at least some recollection of you is the main reason everyone goes networking. They’re a chance to raise your profile, get good advice and discuss business opportunities with other like-minded people, and like it or not you will be the lasting impression your business has on many of the people at networking events – or not, depending on how memorable you are.
However, your name is one of the least memorable details people will remember about you – they’re far more likely to memorise your face, your occupation and what your company does. But getting them to remember your name means that you stand out from the rest and are therefore more likely to be considered if people need to use your services. So how do we get them to remember it?
1. Incorporate it into your introductory pitch
One of the ways you can make your name more memorable is by incorporating it into an introductory pitch which you have rehearsed. This should be a succinct introduction to yourself and what you do at your company, and include a ‘hook’ associated with your name that helps people remember it. For example, on the off-chance you have a name that could be related to your profession, you could say something like “Hi, my name is Frank Gardner, Gardener by name and Gardener by trade”, or if your name is long or slightly unusual you could perhaps find an easy way for people to say it, for example “My name is Tamara which rhymes with… or sounds a bit like…”.
2. Tell an interesting story
One of the best ways of making yourself more memorable is by telling an interesting story. This is because people find stories relatable, and will therefore make more of an effort (subconsciously or otherwise) to remember the name of the person who said them. Since we’re talking about networking, try to use a story which illustrates how you worked hard to achieve something and the brilliant outcome you were able to get for your clients as a result. Try to just be yourself and let you and your company’s character shine through – how did you approach the problem, and what lessons did you and your business learn as a result? These are the kinds of things that are going to make someone want to remember you at a networking event.
3. Repetition helps people remember
Another way of making yourself more memorable is through repetition. People are far more likely to remember information that they’ve come into contact with several times, and in fact one of the key principles of advertising is that a person has to watch/listen to an advert at least 7 times before they remember it. Applying this principle to networking and getting people to remember your name, you could try to repeat your name a number of times during the stories that you tell. For example, “My father used to say to me, ‘Sally’, follow your dreams”, or “… and I kept saying to myself, ‘Sally come on you can do this!'”.
4. Listen to people
Many people can find socialising with a room full of strangers to be quite daunting, and become shy and withdrawn as a result, which can negate much of the usefulness of networking events if it causes you to purposefully avoid talking to people. However if you really don’t think networking is your strong point, get people to talk about themselves and just listen to them.
This may fly in the face of previous advice, but one of the ways to engage with people at networking events is to reciprocate their need for attention by listening to them. This is a valid tactic to use, especially if you are less keen on the mingling aspect of networking, and will almost always lead to an exchange of business cards. While this may not mean that people will remember your name immediately, they will most likely remember and value the way that you listened to them and will therefore want to keep in touch.
5. Follow up afterwards
Following up after networking events is essential if you want people to remember your name. Applying the advertising principle again – of people viewing an advert a number of times before they memorise it – the small act of sending someone a quick email just to say how much you enjoyed speaking with them at the networking event will go a long way towards helping to consolidate your name in their mind. This will help make you stand out from others and in turn make them more likely to consider you if they need a solution you can help with. The great thing to note here is that the follow up doesn’t necessarily have to be face-to-face – it could be via a phone call, an email, or even a connection through LinkedIn.
In conclusion, there are many things you can do to help make yourself more memorable at networking events. Whether it be through telling an interesting story, or even just by listening to people, there are tactics that everyone can use no matter how experienced or confident they are at networking.
For tips on how you can remember other people’s names during networking events, read our previous networking blog here. Alternatively, to gain even more confidence at your next networking event, email us to find out more about Lara’s Networking Training at firstname.lastname@example.org.