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CHI IL BEL SOGNO

An exasperating introduction:

I was at a fête last night and I was introduced to a woman who, not rudely, turned away quickly to talk to someone else she knew.  It was a fleeting introduction, like these things can be, with people swirling all around.  Anyway, at the end of the night I went to say goodbye to the same friend/business partner and he introduced me to the same woman again.  I didn’t remember her from earlier, until she snapped at me and said “We just met.”  Yeah, hours ago!  And I’d met dozens of people throughout the course of the night!  And had my fair share of Pinot Grigio.  Turns out, she was a prior client of my firm and knows my business partner/friend well.  

LISTEN:

There’s your problem right there.  Pinot Grigio leads to memory loss, whereas science has proven that Pinot Gris improves the function significantly.  I know I have the evidence around here somewhere…I just can’t remember where I put it…

OK, two things.  Three, actually, come to think of it.

ONE: THERE IS NO QUESTION, SO NOW I HAVE TO MAKE IT UP!

TWO: She could have been gracious and gently said, “Oh, dearie, we met earlier tonight!” and let you off the hook.  But she didn’t, so she’s a bitch.  But if you’re going around meeting people at fancy pants parties and you have any sort of eye to utilizing this to maintain or develop business contacts, then you’re really to blame.

THREE: How do you do that, and maintain your sanity?

Here’s how.  Whenever you meet someone, especially anyone you’re considering a potential client, remember their name.  You do this by saying it to them again, very clearly, and remarking upon something nearby.  A piece of jewelry they’re wearing, shoes, a lovely dress – perhaps a pen they’re holding – anything.  Remark upon it at once.

“Horatia, this is my business parner, Doretta.”

“Pleased to meet you, Doretta.”

“Entirely my pleasure, Horatia – what a lovely frock.”

You get the idea.  Peridically, think back to what you said as you’re talking, look at the object or whatever it was you assigned to their name (without leering at their chest, you disgusting pervert) and think “Horatia, Frock; Horatia, Frock.  What a lovely pink frock Horatia has,” etc.

I know it sounds silly.  Actually, I don’t know that – I think it sounds brilliant, which it is – how’s this: I know it may sound silly to you, but you’re the one with the Pinot Grigio problem, not me.  It works.  And there are dozens of memory tricks you can use, and I’m not the site for that – that’s why they made google in the first place.

But I’ll leave you with this: In society, it is a Cardinal Sin to forget the name of someone to whom you have been properly introduced.  In this day and age, that’s going to be a lot of people, so get ready to commit a lot of sin.  But from a business perspective, you can’t hurt yourself by trying now.  From an etiquette point of view, it’s just good manners, but I’ll tell you this, too: nothing is more memorable to someone than someone else remembering their name.

Think about that along with Horatia’s lovely frock.

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