Tip #1: approach everyone with the attitude of
openness and friendship, and the willingness to start a relationship (whether professional or personal). When you’re interested in someone, you remember more about them.
Tip #2: Tell yourself that you’re good at remembering names. Remember what you say, is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can’t improve your memory by telling yourself that your memory is good… It already is! The human brain is an amazing data storage facility. Once data is entered, it remains there forever. The problem is retrieval of that data… start reprogramming yourself with positive self-talk.
Tip #3: Shift the focus from you to the other person.
Focusing on remembering their name, on what they do, what their interests are, etc., takes you out of the spotlight, and quickly begins building a relationship. Don’t worry about making an impression by focusing the attention on yourself. The best first impression you can make is to show the person that
you are interested in them.
Tip #4: Use tools. Ask for business cards. Write down their name and contact information. You can even do this when you run into someone you’ve already met whose name you can’t recall. People love to give out their business cards and are usually flattered to be included on your contact list.
Tip #5. If someone’s name is foreign, hard to pronounce or complicated, become fascinated with it. Repeat it, ask for help with pronunciation – put the focus on the person, saying you don’t want to mispronounce their name – and ask about its origins, spelling, etc. People usually love talking about themselves! Make a real effort to pronounce their name correctly. And remember – if you travel to a foreign country, YOUR name may be complicated and foreign to other people!
Tip #7: As you meet people, say their name in your head several times during the conversation. Focus on putting the name to the face. We remember things with a combination of visualization, imagination and associations. Try associating names with something that catches your attention about the person or reminds you of them: their work, their appearance, where they’re from, etc. Rhymes work very well if you want to use word-association.
Tip #8: Introduce yourself first if the other person is hesitating and there’s no one making introductions. Big smile, open handshake, eye contact and “hi, I’m…” shows confidence and openness. Even if you’re not feeling confident, make yourself do it. It’s a few seconds of awkwardness that could result in a lifelong friendship. Go out of your way to establish contact first.
Tip #9: Always remember that the sound of a person’s name is (to them) the sweetest sound on Earth. You create an immediate bond when you address someone by name. The person you’re speaking to will no longer be “that guy who came in and bought my product” – he will be “Joe Smith, my newest customer.”