Networking: How to Remember Names

Editor’s Note: Updated 6/17/19

A friend told me he was at a block party and talked with a guy who was an engineer, like my friend. They bonded over robotics. Then, my friend moved on to the next house where he met another engineer, who happened to be in the market for a robotics expert.

My friend said, “Man, I see how networking can work – if only I could have remembered the guy’s name, he could have had a job! All I could remember is that he had on funny pants and I didn’t think that would be too professional to mention.”

Has that ever happened to you? All you are trying to remember is a name.

You recognize the face, but the name escapes you. And, she’s not wearing a name tag either. (Who wears name tags at summer parties?)

What’s in a name? It’s the one word that’s music to your listener’s ears. If you’re great with faces but have a tough time remembering names, here are three tips excerpted from my book, “Rock Your Network®:”

1. Associate the names.

Alliteration is especially helpful for large groups or if more than one person has the same first name. Barbara in blue, Mary the mortgage broker or Frank the financial planner can help you remember who is who.

At one networking event, we went around the group and introduced ourselves by saying one or two words that described us, followed by our name. I still remember, “Calling Card Candy” who sold telephone calling cards.

2. Learn something unique or special about this person.

During your brief conversation you may discover interesting facts. Put this on the back of the person’s business card. For example, Mary speaks seven languages. Ramona used to be a professional juggler! Jim plays rugby.

3. Follow up.

If you make promises to others during your networking event or meeting it is important to follow up promptly. If you promised to send them an article on their topic of interest, jot that down on their business card – then do it the next day.

These are just a few tips. Next time you’re at a block party and you meet a guy wearing funny pants who’s in robotics, you’ll remember his name. How? Why it’s Rob in Robotics with the Retro pants.

Want to learn even more about networking? Check out my half-day online workshop, Leverage Your Personal Brand and Propel Your Career, in partnership with the Association for Talent Development. Save the date: July 11, 2019.

Post excerpted from “Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers.”