Do you find it hard to learn and remember names? It’s been said that a person’s name is one of the most precious words in the world to them. And that explains why calling people by their names remains one of the quickest ways to build rapport with new contacts.

But to call people by their names, we first need to remember those names. And if you are like most persons I’ve met, you’ll agree that this often presents a serious challenge—remembering the names of the people we meet.

In a short while, I’ll give you some tips on how to remember the names of those you meet. First though, let me give you more reasons on why the effort put into remembering names is well worth it.

The greatest reason we need to remember people’s names is that people are important. They may just be acquaintances, friends, friend of a friend, or potential clients, such as members of your email list.

And unless we are able to address them by their personal names, we can’t lay any claim to being close to them. And without a measure of closeness to an individual, every conversation must necessarily be on a fairly formal plane.

If you are a marketer of any product, such persons whose names you don’t know or remember automatically become cold contacts. And we all know how hard it is to market to such group of persons.

So you’ll agree that in order to be able to interact with a person on a personal level, then a level of friendship must necessarily exist between the two of you. And the first step in building such friendship is to call the person by their name the very next time you talk to them.

Now, on to the main task: how to learn and remember names of people. I’ll give you 5 tips here. But note that some may work better than others, depending on the core reason why you tend to forget. It defers from person to person, which is why tip 1 may be my best bet while yours could be tip 4, for example. But here are the 5:

Take An Interest: Unless you are truly interested in a person (or anything else for that matter), their name wouldn’t be that important to you. so generally, interest is a necessary factor in memory improvement.

Make it a habit therefore to pay attention and show a measure of interest in the people you meet. And try recalling the name a few seconds later. That way, the name gets registered in your long-term memory.

Repeat After Me! Well, not really after me. But immediately after hearing the name mentioned, the very next sentence from you must include that name. And it’s been proven that “it’s nice to meet you, Sandra” works better for your memory than “Sandra, it’s nice to meet you.”

Saying someone’s name right after the person mentioned it, as in the second example, is a rather automated and mindless ritual that hardly involves any mental effort, and thus doesn’t aid recalling the name later.

Repeat Again! But you have to be careful here. You don’t want to sound like a psycho or a pushy salesman, which is what happens when you overdo it. However, the truth remains that people like to hear someone say their name. And saying it at reasonable intervals helps you to remember it later.

Comment On The Name: Say something about the name, “what a nice name you’ve got” (if you sincerely think the name is nice). Or ask how the name is spelt, again depending on the name, so you don’t sound like you didn’t finish high school! (But compare Steven and Stephen). The aim really is to help etch the name on your memory.

End The Conversation With That Name: This is the best way to any conversation anyway. As you see this is nothing elaborate. Could just be a simple “Steven, it’s been nice talking to you.” This again serves to sink the name into your memory, while at the same time letting the person know you cared enough to still remember their name.

So there you have them, the 5 tips. The key again is to use the ones that work best for you. In fact you can use all 5. And the more often you use them, the more remembering names will become an automatic process for you.

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