Everyone wants to stand out and be easily recognizable when it comes to the things that matter to them. Whether you’re running for office, starting a business, helping a charity or asking for a date, make yourself memorable in some way and you’ll reap the benefits.
Some years ago I was on a business trip to the west coast and had a free evening after an early afternoon meeting. I stopped in to watch an Anaheim Angels baseball game. I know they’re technically called “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim,” but frankly, that never made sense to me, so the name stays.
As I responded to emails on my blackberry, I had sent a message to a State Representative in Virginia and he had emailed me back. As I read through it and crafted a response, I expected, as he was on eastern time, that he had sent it as a final thought before going to sleep and perhaps I’d get something the next day, if I got a response back at all.
But he responded right away, meaning he was still at his computer. He and I then continued an email exchange, as if it were a chat log, going back and forth for nearly an hour. During the exchange I mentioned I was emailing him from my blackberry while sitting at a baseball game. Being a baseball fan, he loved that and explained a twinge of jealousy that I was enjoying the warn southern california weather. We finally finished up the conversation.
One Year Later…
I did not see or speak to him for more than 12 months. About a year later he was elected to a high ranking position within Virginia. Running into him at a dinner I immediately led in, “Hello my name is Steve, I was the guy emailing you from his blackberry during the Anaheim Angels baseball game last year.” His face immediately shifted. While he had spent the last few hours meeting new people, trying to learn names and trying to remember people who claimed they had met him years ago, I could immediately tell that he did genuinely remember me. “Oh yes yes I do remember that! We talked about x,y,z” He remembered the topics we had discussed and even a few of the comments we shared about the baseball game. We exchange pleasantries and parted ways.
From then on, every message I sent him or each time I saw him, maybe once every six months or so, I led with, “Hi this is Steve, the guy who emailed you from the blackberry from the Anaheim Angels game” and I’d always get a laugh back, “Yep yep, of course I remember, how’s it been since we last spoke?”
When it comes to anything, be it business, marketing, politics or networking of any kind everyone is looking for the “hook” that makes you known and recognizable. Companies literally spend millions of dollars hiring advertising firms to design logos, images and slogans. In politics for example, being known for something can make (or break) a career.
If you want to standout, just do something that sets you apart from the group. Something that makes you memorable. It doesn’t need to be crazy. You don’t need to donate thousands of dollars, perform an insane stunt for youtube or say something offensive.
Rather take advantages of the opportunity presented to you. Writer James Altucher talks about going to a restaurant and always tipping in Two Dollar Bills, something I’ve actually still do from time to time. Though my job at the time had no connection to state politics and there was nothing to be gained from being on friendly terms with him, I had a connection that few others had. (And most would have greatly envied.) He had a genuine memory of an interaction with me that could be reflected back on to remind him:
A) This guy made me laugh for a few minutes.
B) After meeting hundreds of people a day and trying to remember all their names and faces, here’s someone I genuinely do remember.
Not only were we able to reflect back on our original conversation, but each time I emailed him, or even called his office, I was either put through right away or he called me back. Imagine having a politician who actually returns your messages! Try using these techniques in any field or relationship.