How to Remember Names

Backstage: Debut Marketing Blog

How to Remember Names

How would you like to remember the name of every person you meet at a networking function?

Remembering someone’s name is one of the most important parts of networking, yet one of the things that most people struggle with.

In this article, I will share with you three techniques for remembering people’s names.

Technique 1: Repetition

In Marketing, there is an old adage called the Rule of Seven, which suggests that a prospect needs to be exposed to your marketing message at least seven times before they will act on your message.

You can apply this rule to remembering someone’s name as well. So, how do you repeat someone’s name 7 times in a short conversation?

  1. The Greeting
    When you meet someone at a function and introduce yourself, this is the perfect time to repeat their name. For example:
    “Hi, I’m Nicky. Hi Nicky, I’m Cindy. Nice to meet you Cindy, what brings you here tonight?”
    Important: If you did not hear their name, don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat it.
  2. In Your Head
    Immediately after being introduced, repeat their name over and over in your head.
  3. The Business Card Exchange
    At the appropriate time, ask for their card. When you look at their card, find a way to comment, using their name. If their name has an unusual spelling, you could comment on that, or perhaps you might just compliment them on the look of their card. For example: Paul, this is a great looking card, who designed this for you?
  4. During Conversation
    During the course of the conversation, try to use their name as often as naturally possible. Be careful not to over-use their name though.
  5. The Introduction to Others
    If you see someone new approaching your group, take the opportunity to introduce your new friend to the new person who is joining your group.
  6. The Finale
    When it is time to exit the conversation, this is the perfect time to repeat their name once more. For example: “It was lovely to meet you Nicky, I’m sure there’s lots of people you want to meet here tonight, so I won’t hold you up.”
  7. After the Event
    After the event, look back at your cards and try to visualise each person.

Technique 2: Association

Have you ever noticed that when you try to recall a few random numbers, they are difficult to remember? But if they are in a pattern or sequence the task is much easier?

Challenge: Read these numbers out loud, then close your eyes and try to repeat each number in sequence again. Do this activity for each line of numbers.

3, 17, 48, 74, 81, 26, 59

2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14

How did you go? Did you find the second line much easier?

Association is when you associate a person’s name with something or someone familiar to you. Just as a sequence of numbers is easier to remember, a name is much easier to remember when you associate it with something that is familiar to you. It might be by using a rhyme like John from Jim’s Computers, identifying a distinguishing feature, associating the name with a celebrity, or perhaps you know someone at their company that you can associate this new person with.

Find something about the person you are talking to that is memorable and associate it with their name.

Technique 3: Interest

Have you ever noticed how when you have something in common with someone, you get along like a house on fire? When you are genuinely interested in the conversation or person, you will be more engaged with the person, and will find that you remember them and their name easily. So, don’t stick to the boring topics at networking functions (or during your dance cards, for those BNIers), find something you have in common with the person you are talking to, and I promise you, you will never forget their name.

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