The Fitness Zone
Every day we see different people, meet new clients and people to network with. In the fitness industry we meet so many people every day and therefore run the risk of forgetting people’s names. Forgetting names can be embarrassing at the best of times, but as a business owner, employee or even a student, this can make things awkward or hard to continue networking with the right people. Forgetting people’s names can make people feel undervalued, says Tanna Wells, Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness, SA. Many people do have a poor memory and then don’t bother to try and improve things by remembering names. If you try that little bit harder to remember names, you won’t just be benefitting your memory by trying. To help you in your future meetings and ventures, here are some tips to get it right!
1. Meet and Repeat
Researchers have found that one of the key ways to remember information is by repeating it. When you meet someone for the first time, ensure you repeat their name by paraphrasing in your next few sentences, for example; “It’s great to meet you, Tamara. I’m well. How about yourself”.
Repeating their name in such succession to first hearing it can not only confirm that you heard their name - and got it right - but can help you remember it when you walk away. Try and use their name a couple of times if you can. It also helps immensely to use their name to introduce them to others. Not only does this help you to remember their name, but they will be pleased you remembered their name and that you have been bothered to introduce them to someone else (and successfully remembered their name in the process).
2. Write it Down
When I was a Gym Instructor, I had a client’s book and wrote everything down; their name, some characteristics to help remember what they looked like, and anything they told me about themselves, like pets, partner and favourite things. A short note when you meet someone is sufficient, then when you have a better chance to write some more information (such as after a training session), you can go back and add more notes. You’ll also gain some more insight into who they are and what they’re interested in whilst talking to them and won’t be taking the focus away from getting to know them if you have your nose stuck in a notepad, jotting down notes.
Each day I would not only add to it, but I would read over the previous inserts and remind myself of the people I meet. Writing things down, such as name’s will help you to remember them a lot easier and you can flick through the pages of your notes if you need a reminder of a person, a face or their pet’s name. It also helps to personalise the service you provide to your clients as they’ll appreciate that you’re trying to get to know them better.
3. Rhyme It
Does their name sound like something? Can you match it up with something that rhymes? It may sound a bit harsh, but do they have any features that stand out? You might not always be lucky to have their name rhyme with something that reminds you of them specifically, but it might help if you can. A new client named Ted with ginger hair? “Red Ted” might be easier to remember than just “Ted”. Of course, this may not be the most professional approach and may offend some people (depending on how you remember their name or what you rhyme it with), but having this method for your own personal use and not shared with your clients or colleagues may be a good trick to remember people’s names.
4. See Them Again
Whether it's booking them in to see you for a session or making them aware that you will look out for them the next time they are in, the commitment can subconsciously influence your memory. If you know that they are coming back in tomorrow at 5pm, you will be sure to remember them and their name because you’ll be caught out if you don’t. To save yourself the embarrassment, it’s a sure fire sign that your memory will work hard to remember their name, what they look like and when you’ll be seeing them again.
5. Commit to Remembering
Make a conscious effort to remember it rather than blaming a ‘poor memory’ or you are ‘too busy’. Sometimes just telling yourself that you must remember that name can help you not forget it. A lot of people make the excuse and therefore don’t try hard enough to remember names. Of course, a lot of people have a poor memory, but if you’re actively working on trying to improve it, it will get better over time.
Every person you meet is important. And in terms of personal training and massage, you might find that it is simply the fact that you have made the effort to remember them and their name that they continue to build a relationship with you rather than other staff. Making an effort by using some of the tips mentioned can improve your memory, your professional relationships and potential client base. Who knows, it might mean more business in the long run for you. Happy name remembering!
About Tanna Wells
Tanna is a Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness SA/NT.