How to Remember Names


Tips on How to Remember Names

Do You Have a Bad Memory For Names?

You meet your newest client’s wife and the next night, by chance, she attends the same concert you do. To your dismay, you cannot remember her name. You’re embarrassed, so you spend the evening dodging her.

How to Remember Names Better

There are solutions that are more rewarding, and certainly less nerve-racking, than playing hide and seek. Consider adopting some of these simple techniques for improving your name retaining power:


Carefully listen to the name and its pronunciation when first being introduced. The number one reason that you “forget” a name is that you never really committed it to memory in the first place. Ignore distractions, including those in your own head. Often, when a name is given, we are thinking about how to sell to this client, trying to make a good first impression, and so on. The mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time. If you are engaged in internal dialog, that is where your focus will be, and you will be unlikely to remember names or other important facts at a later date.


It has been said that repetition is the mother of learning. This is especially true when it comes to remembering names. When you first hear the name, repeat the name to yourself, and consciously incorporate it into your conversation.

Ask the Spelling of the Name

When you first hear the name, ask how it is spelled, especially if it is a name whose spelling is not obvious. This does two things for you. First, it gives you several seconds to repeat it in your mind. Secondly, you are telling the other person that their name is important to you, so important that you don’t want to misspell it. Dale Carenegie, in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” teaches that a person’s name is the most important words in the english language. It opens doors. Write the name down in your planner, if possible, and make sure that you review the person’s name before meeting with or calling them for a second contact.

Association Tricks

The mind remembers by associating like things. Associate the person’s name with someone you already know, or with a familiar object or place. A friend of mine is very tall and is named Mr. Heimbigner. He makes his name remembered by making a joke, calling himself Mr. “I’m bigger ‘n you”. While most people will not have last names that make them as easily associable as this one, we can find attributes about the person that help the name stick in our minds.Connect the name with the person’s distinguishing features, and make the association something that you will remember. For example, if you meet a woman named Mrs Bird that has a large nose, picture in your mind a silly bird perched on her nose. Silly or funny things tend to stick in our memory easier than dull or common ones, which may explain why it is easier to remember a joke that a friend tells you than what you ate for dinner last Thursday.


These methods don’t assure that you’ll never be caught clueless on names again, but they will improve the odds in your favor. Again, most of us don’t “forget” a name; we simply didn’t take the time and effort to remember it. Some of the most successful people in business are ones that can remember in some cases thousands of names of people that they have met before. When you run into someone that was a passing acquantance and they know your name, you are impressed. In the same way, impress your clients by remembering their names and you will communicate to them that they are important to you.

Other Marketing Tips

Additional Marketing Tips are given in our Marketing and Selling Your Accounting Business section of this site. From how to get started marketing your company to how to get new clients each week with little effort on your part, this section teaches you the How’s of marketing your Accounting business.Learn How to Market Your BusinessModule 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper course teaches a step-by-step process for marketing your Accounting and Bookkeeping service.See How the Professional Bookkeeper Course Teaches How to Make $80,000 Per Year as an Accountant

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