Last week, I went to a client’s office for a meeting. The locked door was opened breezily by one of the team, a person I had met a couple of times before. I said hello and waited as he went to get my host. A few minutes later, as we had to walk back into the busy office area, one of the other team members stood up and asked me out loud in front of everyone, “So, Craig, what is the name of the person who just opened the door? He thinks you can’t remember his name.”
He was right. To make matters worse, I couldn’t remember the name of the person who’d asked me the question, even though I knew I’d looked him up on LinkedIn a few weeks before.
I give myself a little leeway here as it was not an expected encounter, but names in person have never been my strong point. It bugs the hell out of me because it’s important.
On the flip side, at a networking event I organised for a client a few months ago, I amazed someone (and maybe scared them a little) when I welcomed her by name, even though we’d never met. She was genuinely taken aback.
Here’s where CRM comes into its own. I knew who was coming, had researched everyone on LinkedIn, and even downloaded images and revised what each person looked like.
It felt good to make people feel special, if only by welcoming them by name.
Personalisation goes a long way. And even if you have a memory for names like mine, technology is there to help. Now, I just need to develop a system for the unplanned meetings.