How To Make People Feel Valued (And Make Yourself Look Like A Star)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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 simply ask them), I make a note of it, and then I review their file when I have an upcoming meeting or need to send a gift.

As for keeping files for people, this is really much simpler (and less big brother-ish) than it sounds. I jot down their preferences in the "notes" section of my iPhone's contacts list. This makes it easy to look up their faves while I'm at the store or in line at Starbucks.

Learning what other people like is really just a matter of paying attention during conversations, whether those conversations happen in person or on social media. 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 your phone.

Because of this little trick, I know which type of wine a florist I work with often prefers, which 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, etc. 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.

Originally published August 2008

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