As a real estate agent, you’ve been getting out there and networking. You’ve got all of your social media profiles set up, you’ve had a website built, you’re handing out business cards at the grocery store, and you’re chatting up all of your bartenders.
You’ve even joined the PTA at your kid’s school so you can network with all the other parents. Great!
Except, maybe not so great if you aren’t any good at remembering names. One of the keys to networking success is to remember people’s names. It is one of the best ways to make a favorable first impression.
Even if you have trouble remembering names, you can still network successfully. Here are some tips to help improve your ability to remember names.
Commit to It
Before you can even begin to remember someone’s name, you need to make the commitment that you’re going to remember names.
Don’t keep blaming it on having a bad memory. You’re letting yourself off the hook. It has less to do with a poor memory, and more to do with a lack of application.
So, before you head out to that event or meeting, take a second to remind yourself that you’re going to make your best effort to remember the names of the people you meet. That conscious decision is going to get you started on the right foot.
You can’t remember someone’s name if you’re not paying attention. Don’t get distracted. Focus on the person, instead of looking around the room, thinking about how your glass is empty or thinking about your new listing.
Concentrate on listening to their name, and take the time to form an impression of them. The more you observe a person, the more likely you are to remember them.
After a person introduces themselves, use their name in conversation immediately. Repetition is going to help solidify it in your mind. You can comment on their name, like saying that you like it or telling them they share a name with your favorite aunt.
You can also just use it in conversation as you speak with them. Use it occasionally, just make sure that you don’t overdo it. Also, try using it when leaving.
If possible, write it down afterward, and even include a couple of notes for yourself if you need to.
Associate Their Name with Something
Linking their name to something is a great way to make it stick in your memory. How you associate their name is going to depend on what you remember best.
If you are best at remembering music or sounds, try making a rhyme out of their name, or linking it to a song lyric. If they have a name from an existing song that you know, you’re set for sure!
If you do better with visuals, try imagining an image that is related to their name, or link it to a physical characteristic of that person. For example, “Betty blue eyes” would be a great association if she’s got bright, blue eyes.
If neither of these is your strong suit, try using sensory feelings. Link their name to how you feel about them, your impression of them, or a reaction you have to them. Sometimes, you just need to nickname someone “Loud Lewis” (but only in your head, of course!).
Taking the time and energy to remember names is going to make people feel important, and help you build more meaningful relationships. That’s really what a strong network is made of, and it will help you to become more successful.