Networking Using Memory


By Gail Stolzenburg

In Dale Carnegie’s famous book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People“, he wrote, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”.  Do you see how remembering a person’s name would be so very important in networking?  What if you also remembered their industry, company name, position, duration of position, and previous position?  Would it add even more value if you remembered information about their family, hobbies, and vision?  You can be assured that remembering information like this will build your credibility and strengthen your relationships.

Would you agree that business is all about building relationships?  Previous articles in Small Business Today Magazine have addressed questions that could be beneficial in building relationships.  How would you like to be able to remember the answers you were given for the next time you encounter that person?

In his book, “Super Memory”, Douglas Hermann, Ph.D. points out that practice alone can improve global memory and substantially boost recall in certain areas of your life.  He stated, “When you practice specific memory tasks, you can produce spectacular results.”  Of course, that does require dedication and a time commitment.

Do you have poor memory or maybe it is just untrained.  Most people have about the same amount of memory.  The difference is the ability to recall information. The mind recalls information more easily when the images are symbols, colorful, pleasant, three dimensional, multisensory, humorous, or ridiculous.

For instance, to remember a name such as Gail Stolzenburg, you might think of a big block of ice with a bottle of the Russian vodka Stolichnaya, nicknamed Stoli, on top.  So “Stoli” on an ice “berg” becomes Stoliburg (Stolzenburg) and there is a gust of wind blowing the vodka bottle, so strong you might even call it a gale (Gail). Include eyes that are blue like the iceberg, grey hair like frost on the iceberg, and a smile after drinking the Stoli to help with facial recognition.

For many years, before he gave a presentation, Bob Burg, author of “Endless Referrals” and “The Go-Giver”, would meet each member of the audience, sometimes over 200 people, and when he began to talk he would point to the person and call out their name.  Is that impressive?  How do you think those people felt?

Ron White, a memory expert, spent two minutes underwater with a deck of cards and when he came out of the water, he recited each of the cards in sequence.  It may be difficult for you to recall facts and figures but it is much easier when they are attached to a story.  One of the top memory trainers, Harold Schultz, teaches how to use parts of an automobile or room fixtures to remember the story.

A great technique for sharing information without referring to notes is the pegboard system.  Never use this when you first meet people because too much information turns people off.  This is used in subsequent meetings when someone has asked for more information.  In the pegboard system, a number is associated with a picture by linking, merging, rotating them around each other, or making them collide.

For example:  The number one looks like a spindle, two is a swan swimming in a lake, three is a 3-tined fork, and four is a flag on a golf course.  You can use this system by attaching each paragraph title to a number.  The information could be shared in sequence if it works best, or any sequence because you remember it all.

Do you believe your memory gets worse as you age?  Just like your muscles, if you don’t use it you are going to lose it!  After formal education stops, people tend to neglect intensive use of memory.  Memory is just linking information.  So the more facts you process, the better your long term memory will be.  Leadership is a lifelong learning process and age is not a deterrent to improving one’s memory or achieving success in life.

Start practicing now about the techniques just mentioned.  When you attend the next networking event, see if you can commit to memory and easily recall the people you meet and remember how you can be helpful to them in business or life.  By doing so, you will be more effective in building relationships and have more fun in the process.

Gail “The Connector” Stolzenburg’s new book,CONNECTIONS:  Contacts to Clients”, was just released.  For more information, Gail can be contacted by phone at 281-493-1955, by email at, or visit his website at


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