My husband and I were reminiscing, recently, about a trip we took to Hong Kong, writes Sue France. Peter had clear memories of flying first class: what he ate, where we sat and even the contents of the ‘goody bag’. I couldn’t visualise the journey at all. However, I could clearly recall a conversation with the people sitting at the table next to us in the restaurant at the top of the Peninsula Hotel. Peter didn’t think we spoke to anyone.
I remembered the chat in the restaurant because it was unexpected. There I was, miles from home, talking to someone who had a toyshop in the Trafford Centre and knew one of my friends. It wasn’t of interest to Peter as he doesn’t shop there and doesn’t know my friend.
I believe that to be remembered you need to have something special about you or some surprise up your sleeve.
Your business might be amazing but people you meet have yet to discover this as they gather their first impressions of you.
Laughter coach and hypnotherapist, Terry Ann Scholes, said: “I have been told I am memorable at networking events as my business cards are bright with sunflowers on. I also wear a sunflower bag and brooch and I have stayed consistent with this.
People remember what I do by my association with the sunshine flower.
To remember other people, I write little notes on the back of their business cards. A lady sitting next to me at a lunch told me she had a python phobia so that went on the back of her card as it was something unusual.”
Another networker, Helen Young, told me; “When I was a teacher, I memorised pupil’s names by focussing on where they sat in class. So, at events, I picture where everyone is sitting on my table.”
I remember people by their clothes. I can tell you the personal styles of all the ladies who attend my events; who wears bright colours, who wears patterns, who is on trend and who prefers more classic designs.
At events I attended in 2004 you could identify people’s professions by what they wore. I was marketing conference facilities at the time and always made a beeline for ladies in black suits as they would usually be from large companies.
Nowadays, ‘stereotypes’ have gone. The lady wearing the gorgeous vintage patterned dress is just as likely to be a lawyer and the lady in the smart suit could be an artist or a glassware designer working from home.
You can also become memorable through your actions or your words.
I know a lady who hugs people when she is first introduced to them. I was struck immediately by her warmth and friendliness. I knew she was going to be an easy person to hang around with and chat to.
I am not suggesting we all go around hugging strangers, especially, if like me, you are shy and it doesn’t come naturally.
However, if you can think of something to make you stand out from the crowd, and help identify your business, it could reap huge rewards.
Paul Worpole takes stunning portraits of local business people so I asked him to photograph his partner, Johannah Ashton Sykes, with her work implements.
How fabulous it would be if we could all wear our work tools as she has and take the guesswork out of networking!
Photo by Paul Worpole www.paulworpole.com