I Can’t Believe I Forgot!

By Jana Owen | August 19, 2013

If you live in fear of forgetting prospects’ names, sometimes within mere seconds of being introduced to them, you’re not alone. Surveys show that 83 percent of the population worries about their inability to recall people’s names. Ironically, while most of us hate having our names forgotten or mispronounced, the majority of us claim we just “aren’t good at remembering names”.

Forgetting names becomes more than just an embarrassing social faux pas in sales. Straining to recall a name can preoccupy you, paralyzing you from paying attention to your client or prospect. He or she may perceive you not only as unfocused and easily distracted, but possibly as not very bright if you’re unable to devote your full attention. Even worse, if you forget the name of a client with whom you’ve worked in the past, he or she may view your memory lapse as a betrayal of trust, which can cost you future money.

There are many other instances in which clients complain of forgetting important information. Presentations, key business information, promises made to clients, task items that were never written down, meeting details, dates, and numerous other things are commonly chalked up to “getting older,” (which is simply not the truth).

There are numerous factors that affect memory – stress, sleep, nutrition, oxygen levels. Times of day even make a difference. The simple fact is your memory reserves the right to leave you at any moment, so try to incorporate a few of the following steps to help you to recall names.

Set the intention to listen and remember a name.

Improve Name Recall

The most important key to effective learning of any kind is understanding that there are three learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic (physically interactive). The more you can apply all three of these styles to a task, the more quickly and solidly you will learn anything.

Practice each of the following steps to improve your name recollection in every sales and social situation.

When you’re first introduced to someone, look closely at his or her face and try to find something unique about it. By observing a memorable characteristic, you’re incorporating the visual learning style.

The next step uses auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. When you meet someone, slow down for five seconds and concentrate on listening to him or her. Focus on the prospect and repeat his or her name back in a conversational manner, such as “Susan? Nice to meet you, Susan.” Also make sure to give a good firm handshake, which establishes a physical connection with the prospect.

At the end

of the conversation, integrate auditory learning by repeating the prospect’s name one more time, but don’t ever overuse someone’s name.

Use the prospect’s name only right at the beginning of the conversation, and then again at the end; if you feel like you can do so naturally, you might insert someone’s name once or twice in a natural fashion during the course of the conversation, too. But if you’ve ever had a stereotypically pushy salesperson use your name a dozen times in a five minute conversation, you know how annoying this can be, so don’t overdo it.

Writing is a form of kinesthetic learning – your body gets involved in the learning process – so if you’re serious about remembering people’s names for the long term, keep a journal or log of important people you meet, and review it periodically.

Set Intentions

One of the most important aspects of any result you get in life is your set intention. Set the intention to listen and remember a name.

People can’t remember names for one main reason: they’re just not paying attention. This process forces you to think. Looking at the prospect closely, shaking his or her hand confidently and repeating the name a few times – are easy to do, will solidify the name in your memory, and will ultimately convey a positive image of you to clients and prospects.

About Jana Owen

Owens is a speaker, instructor and coach for Freedom Personal Development. Phone: 512-502-JANA (5262).

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West August 19, 2013
August 19, 2013
Insurance Journal West Magazine

101 Sales, Marketing & Agency Management Ideas; Corporate Profiles – National Edition; Exclusive Annual Issue Sponsor Download Opportunity

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