The success of my leadership role has been contingent on many things, one of them being my knowledge of people. Whether employees, referrals, clients, or community contacts, the fact that I remember personal information about them was — and continues to be — critical to growing and developing these relationships.
One of the easiest ways to remember who’s who is to maintain updates to their Outlook contact profile. For many years, before every meeting, I’ve reviewed the notes I’d made; after every meeting, I’d update them. To this day, I continue that practice.
Include information about your contacts such as: where they grew up, attended college, spouses name, children’s names, personal and professional milestones, philanthropic endeavors, and random facts. I keep track of discussions I’d had with the individual and am able to recall information through these notes. Whenever I’ve reached out to them, I’ve made a point of asking about family, work, and interests. My contacts are always impressed.
- Stay abreast of staffs’ families and outside interests (“How was Junior’s first day of camp?”)
- Keep tabs on your referral relationships (“Were you able follow up on that introduction I made to ___?”)
- Remind clients that you are invested in their success and satisfaction (“I know that you guys are back from your big trip. Would love to hear about it. Let’s connect soon!”)
While I’d love to claim a tremendous memory, the reality is that I already know many people and continue to meet more daily. It’s very difficult to remember everyone and everything about them. My Outlook notes help prompt me to recall topics of importance to each and every contact. It’s a small investment of my time that continues to pay off in big ways.