A couple weeks ago I heard from a colleague who I had not spoken to for a while. Her company was looking for someone to help them with creating a strategic plan and they wanted my help. I was honored that she thought of me since it had been some time since we had last talked.
Although it would have been a great gig, I had to turn it down as my plate is pretty full right now. Of course her first question was, “Do you know someone else you can refer me to?” And of course I do, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember any of their names (nor could I find their business cards or email addresses). Ack! I did finally find one person — via another colleague who has a much better memory than mine — but there are a couple of others who missed this potential referral opportunity just because I couldn’t remember them.
So what does this mean to you?
- Make sure your brand is strong so that you’ll be memorable (and reachable) in case someone forgets your name.
- Occasionally touch base with people who have the potential to refer business to you. Make sure this connection is not to sell or ask for something from the person. It should be a genuine, “how are you doing” type of reconnection.
- Make sure your contacts “know it when they hear it.” That means if they hear someone has a specific type of problem to solve, it will instantly make them think of you — and remember your name.
The world is big and getting bigger every day. It may seem that the faster you work, the less time you have. Staying connected to others is one of those important but not urgent situations that you simply must make time for. One of the easiest ways to maintain contact with your network is to connect up on Twitter. Your network can be public or private, but you simply must have one.
What do you think? Do you have additional suggestions for making sure people remember you and what problems you solve? Please leave a comment.