Memory Trick for Business

Monday, August 03, 2009

One of the things that tends to impress other people about me is my memory. I will often show up at a meeting with the other person's iced skinny vanilla latte in hand, exactly the way they would order it. While they can never figure out how exactly I remember their go-to beverage, I will share my little trick here:

I cheat.

I observe what others like or dislike (or I flat out ask them), I make a note of it, and then I review their file when I have an upcoming meeting with them or need to send a gift.

As for keeping files for people, this is really much simpler (and less big brother) than it sounds. I jot down their preferences in the "notes" section of my laptop's address book. This syncs with the iphone, so all of their faves and/or dislikes are stored along with their address and phone numbers in my contact list. This makes it easy to look up their preferences while I'm at the store or in the drivethru line at Starbucks.

Learning what other people like is really just a matter of paying attention in conversations, whether those conversations happen in person, on their blog, or on twitter. When you get back to your car after a networking event, take a second to write those points on the back of their business card or add them to the notes section in your phone's address book.

Because of this little trick, I know which type of wine a florist I work with often prefers, what types of sweets to send certain people as thank you gifts, that a colleague I see often is allergic to dairy, that another colleague doesn't drink coffee but loves hot chocolate and so on and so forth. It's also helpful to make note of the office hours of people you contact often (no sense calling them at 9:30 if they don't start their retail day until 11 am), the names and birthdays of their kids, etc.

You don't have to get stalkerish to obtain this information - just be diligent in noting what comes up in the daily conversations you engage in.

Do you have any memory tricks for business?

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