A few days ago, a client of mine, at the end of a call asked if I had anyone in my network who deals with corporate insurance and specifically located in the mid-west. I said I do have someone (in my head I was trying to remember who it was), and I will reach out to them and make an intro.
It has been about 8 months since we communicated. The last time we spoke was also the first time we spoke, and it was a simple, straight up networking intro call after being introduced to him by a mutual LinkedIn connection. Nice conversation, nothing out of the ordinary. He told me he is in insurance and that lives in the mid-west.
It’s been 8 months since we spoke so….I forgot his name. I remembered insurance and mid-west, but I could not, for the love of god, remember his name. Scratching my head, I started thinking about my conversation with him from 8 months ago, what we talked about, what was the vibe, any clue that could help me find him and offer him a warm lead from my client, but I just could not remember. The worst part? Couldn’t even remember the vibe of the conversation.
Happened to you? Is it possible there are some people out there, whom you have had some discussion during this past year and who might have potential business for you, but they simply don’t remember your name?
There is some statistics out there saying that during the pandemic we were all actually able to network, prospect, communicate with more people. We didn’t need to spend time on travel, commute to work, plan time to go out for lunch breaks or dinner events. Add to that the fact that unemployment rates saw historic numbers and you understand how it simply made us all more available which resulted in a Tsunami of networking. How do you manage all of these contacts? But more importantly, when you are one of those contacts for others, how do you stand out from among all of these contacts so can be remembered?
From a sales stand point, if you are prospecting and trying to sell to all of these contacts. you better have some sort of a CRM system you are using to organize your contacts and calls. I also hope, for your own sake that for each new contact, you add some sort of data points to not only tell you the vertical this contact is in, their title or location but other identifying elements as well. Add some ‘colorful” items for every contacts. Personal information such as birthday, favorite team, hobbies etc.
But would that be enough for me to find the guy I am looking for from 8 months ago? I mean, I couldn’t even remember his name. So where do I start?
I log into my CRM and start searching. I search by the vertical – insurance. 57 contacts. I filter it down by the area and I realize I have 13 contacts in my network who are in insurance and in the mid-west (a shocking revelation as it is). As I go down the list of 13 contacts and skipping the 5 females, I am left with 8 contacts to choose from. Got to the 6th one. Read some of my notes on his contact file. After about 2 sentences I started smiling as reading the information reminded me about the feeling I had speaking with this guy. I remember how this specific person made me feel while we were sharing the same level of frustration dealing with our home internet provider. We went on and on about it, exaggerating about how we will get the cable guy to come and fix our problems and how we would let him have it when he shows up and how we will tie him to the couch and force him to listen to the terrible elevator music of the company he works for when you call them up and being put on hold and keep him there for as long the wait time is. Anyway, we ended up crying of laughter. One of those.
You see, this guy and I went through an emotional experience. That was the emotional anchor of our previous encounter. I didn’t remember this guy’s name either, I didn’t even remember the name of the company he worked for. But between all 8 contacts I was looking into, he was the only one who sparked any emotional reaction when I got to read about him and think of him. The only one who made me smile when I remembered our conversation. I vividly remembered the vibe of the call. I guess he is the one getting the intro to my client.
“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl
Are you doing anything at all to be remembered during your communication with your network? And if so, are you thinking proactively about HOW you would like to be remembered? How would you like the people you are communicating with to FEEL so they remember you?
What are you doing to be a bit different on these calls with your contacts? How do you stand out? How do you make sure you are being remembered the way you want?
Do you want to be remembered as an expert? As the trusted advisor? How about the one who really cares? Do you want them to feel excited on this call? Surprised? Intrigued? Vulnerable?
If you want to be seen as the expert and make them FEEL they can trust you, you better do a lot of research on all related topics for the conversation. Provide follow up supporting data, charts and research. So, when they look in the CRM a few months later searching for a solution you offer and your detailed deck with the relevant charts you sent them after your last conversation will stick out it will scream – OH, this guy, yeah, I remember he made me feel I could trust him.
If you want to make them feel you care you need to come prepared with a relatively long list of questions about THEM! Ask many questions about THEIR challenges, THEIR pain-points, THEIR aspirations and not only you will learn a lot about them, but it will for sure put you in the “yeah, I remember this guy, he made us feel he really cares about us” category when they think of you.
The point is that we do have the ability to determine how we want to be remembered. How do we want our clients to feel so we are indeed remembered. And if you plan ahead, and keep doing it again and again with your clients, prospects and others, you will always be remembered. They will never need to look for you in the CRM and you will start getting contacts, leads and referrals from others without even asking for them.
By the way, the guy in my CRM I gave the lead to is not the guy I spoke with 8 months ago and whom I thought of at first.
That guy…..well…that guy, I still don’t remember. Didn't feel it.