A few years ago, I had a networking contact. When I first met him, I made an off-handed comment that I had the ability to write press releases. From that moment until he moved to another part of the country, every time we were at a networking event, he would introduce me as being in Public Relations. This got me thinking that people tend to remember what they want to remember or what is easiest to remember about someone.
I asked myself, “Was it his fault he remembered me that way, or mine?” The answer is, of course, mine. Maybe fault is not the correct word. It is MY responsibility to introduce and present myself in the manner in which I would like to be remembered by a business associate.
Here’s a little trick I’ve taught myself. Before I have a meeting, whether it be a networking Zoom call, coffee, presentation or even a phone call, I try to take a couple of minutes to ask myself what I want this person to remember from this interaction. A specific product or service. A certain way of doing business. To remember to refer my company.
Each interaction we have is different, but not so different that we can’t have some basic guidelines to follow. Whatever point you are trying to make, lead with it, reinforce in the middle of the interaction and close with it. I believe it was Dale Carnegie who said, “Tell them what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said.” It doesn’t have to be forced or robotic, like the salesperson who was trained that if they keep repeating the customers first name, somehow, their mind will short circuit and they will agree to buy anything.
We all have a different style. You make a great you, but you probably wouldn’t make a great me. The important thing to take away from this is in whatever way and whatever style you feel comfortable with, do everything you can to make sure they remember what you want them to.