The formula to success? Being memorable. Throughout our lives we constantly encounter people from many walks of life. Often though, we only remember a select few of those folks.
Why are some more memorable than others? Why were they more interesting and seemingly more distinguished from the countless others you spoke with that day? The answer is relatively simple: they planted the seeds in your mind that made them take root in your memory. That is some powerful stuff, because if you too can make people remember you – you, by default, will stand out. And it’s the stand outs who garner all the business.
1. Better Is Not Better. Different Is Better. It is hard to be better. Even when you are, no one really cares. If you are a little faster (your deliver proposals 30 minutes earlier), a little more polished (you wear the modern skinny tie, when your competition still wears last years wide tie), a little more professional (you send a thank you note after visiting a prospects office) – you’re clearly better, but it will go unnoticed.
It’s the extremes that get noticed. If you are going to compete on being better, you need to be way better or way faster or way more professional. That’s not hard, that is way hard. To be way better, takes tremendous effort and expenditures that you may not be ready to take on.
But there is another way. Instead of being way better, trying being different. It is usually significantly easier to do. If your industry is stuffy, be the casual guy. If your industry is casual, be the unwavering professional. The goal is to stand out from the status quo. If you want to be memorable, different beats better, by a long shot.
2. Be “The Guy”. Most people say, “I do legal work”, or “I help people with the accounting” or “I setup computer systems”. Aspire to be “the guy” for a niche category in your industry. So instead of doing computers or even being “the computer guy”, be the “stable computers guy”.
3. Listen Intently. People are intelligent (as much as “Cops” would like us think otherwise.). They can easily spot when you are pretending to be interested in them. Be genuine when you speak and be intent when you listen. Show that you are truly passionate about what you have to say and that you really are interested in what they are saying. People appreciate sincere conversation. When they know they are truly being listened to, they will be more inclined to listen to you in return.
4. Be An Individual. Often times, we try to “turn off” the traits that make us unique as people. Getting pushed around in grade school or picked on in high school convinced us that it is a mistake to stand out from the “norm” and we should strive to diminish our uniqueness. If you want to be memorable, re-discover and harness the traits that make you, well, you. If you are creative, find ways to use your creativity. If you are loud, get people pumped up! If you are funny, use your humor to break the ice in or out of the workplace.
5. Be Real. No one likes fake people. No one enjoys the company of someone who’s life is portrayed as perfect. People are interested in those whom they can relate to. Show who you really are. Let people see your flaws, as well as your triumphs. Be open about how much effort and hard work was put in to get you where you are today. Offer advice, and take advice. Don’t be a know-it-all. Be a person that other people will feel comfortable around and not feel as though they are not “good-enough” to be in your presence.
Want to really want to be awesome? Yeah? Good! Then, be memorable. Be interesting. Be different. No one remembers the people who are “cardboard cutouts.” It’s the weirdo’s and extremes and the different people who are remembered. Want to be successful? Be different.