Somehow, he roped me into going. It’s one of those cheesy networking events. I stopped going to these years ago. I tired of the same thing every time. A bunch of struggling salesmen begging each other for referrals. I used to be one of those struggling salesmen. I shouldn’t judge.
This event was different. It wasn’t a pure networking event. It was more about sharing ideas. Despite my reluctance to go, it turned out to be a positive experience.
I reconnected with an old contact. When we first met nine months ago, we exchanged business cards. That was the extent of our communication up until now.
Events Take An Interesting Turn
About a year ago, I started this practice of collecting trivial facts about people I meet. I make a note of it and use it for future reference. The idea is to exploit the significance of insignificance principle. Yeah, I know it sounds like a mouthful. Here’s what it means.
Remember something trivial about people you meet. Show them you remember these things. It demonstrates you find them significant.
I made a practice of recording trivial facts about other people. Sometimes I neglect the second part. I forget to show people that I remember these facts. My experience at this event changes that.
When I spoke to this guy I recalled he has a keen interest in water purification. Odd, right? Maybe he’s a germaphobe. A few minutes into our conversation I asked if still uses the same system in his home.
I stunned him with that question. It was obvious from his response.
My take – he talks about this all the time. Nobody remembers or cares enough to bring it up again.
After he filled me in on his updates, we talked business. When we wrapped up he told me to contact him in a few days. He wants to see where he could help me.
That’s the power of this principle. By remembering what’s important to others you show your interest in them. Instead of asking for their help, they offer their help.
How To Use This System
One other thing became apparent. There’s more to this technique than just remembering trivial facts. You need a simple system. I put it into a tidy list for you.
- Record trivial facts about people you meet. Be a good listener. Ask questions.
- Remind them about it. Use subtle tactics. For example, let’s suppose your contact has a passion for antique cars. Don’t write “hey Tim. How’s your passion for antique cars? Still into them?” Instead, write “Hey Tim. Saw this video about an antique car show in a few weeks. Are you bringing your 69 Corvette?”
- Use the passage of time to your advantage. If I tell you today about my collection of hula hoops and you ask me about it the next day, it seems kind of silly. If you recall my interest a week later and then a few months later, it demonstrates more importance. “Wow. I can’t believe he remembered.”
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