Get Prepared to Network: Meet, Greet, Repeat

the-personal-branding-blog-website-meet-greet-repeat-valere-sokolosky1 – Prepare to listen:

It starts with being fully present. Tune everything and everyone else OUT — pay attention only to the person right in front of you. Periodically ask questions — don’t be a bobble head just nodding. Good conversation is two-way.

2 – Handshake:

In our country, the acceptable greeting starts with a firm handshake. Women – show your confidence and presence by initiating the handshake. Here’s how: Move toward a person, arm outstretched, smile on your face and say “I’m happy to meet you. I’m Valerie Sokolosky. And you?” You’re off and running.

3 – Conversation:

After the initial name exchange, move to a question. Here’s one suggestion — ask a question about their name.

  • “Eric…there are lots of ways you can spell it…how do you spell yours?
  • “Oh, that’s an unusual name. Were you named for someone?
  • “What else do they call you?”
  • “Kathryn…do you prefer Kathryn or Kathy?”

Names give you an easy way to get into a conversation!

4 – Remembering Names:

  • Concentrate: Hear the name – really hear it.
  • Visualize: Think like a child.  Play with it. Names are toys made of sounds. What does the name sound like? Mr. Azuki….sounds like a zoo key. Associate that to the person.

James….King James…visualize a crown on his head
Taylor….holding a needle and thread
Tyler…. Holding a piece of tile and grout
Jim…in the gym working out

  • Exaggerate: Make the name huge in size or number.
  • Repeat: Saying something out loud helps muscle memory. Speak it.
  • Use your imagination: Make it visual — the more senses the better. Try to hear it, smell it, see it. Example: Frank…smell the hot dog on the grill. The brain makes it real…vivid.

5 – Write it down: As soon as you leave the room, or move away from that person, write the name down with something added to help you remember that person.

Ok – what if you meet the person again and his name flew out the window (of your brain)? Here’s my ValerieISM: Say, “I remember you so well…help me with your name.”  That tells the person you do remember them but the name escaped you.

Go forth this Summer and be better prepared for networking!

For extra tips read: Is Your Network Napping?

Valerie SokoloskyValerie Sokolosky is a Master Personal Brand Strategist and expert thought leader in leadership presence and personal branding. A widely published author and founder of Valerie and Company, her executive coaching and training has helped companies large and small achieve their goals of increased productivity, profitability, and enhanced people skills.