Disclaimer: For the sake of my job and client privacy, I will refrain from using this client’s name or identifying them in any way. Any details I provide have been generalized or altered completely, but the plot of the story is 100% true.
At my job, we work on various projects that require the partnership of big-name clients in our area. Most of these projects are on-going…sometimes for years at a time. Regarding one project in particular, this would be my second year playing a key role in putting this event together. This year, the event went smoothly, and both parties were very pleased with the outcome. A couple months ago, I attended the recap meeting with my boss, as well as the client’s Community Affairs Director and two more of his employees. When I got there, not only did the Director forget my name, but he hardly wanted to greet me. He completely disregarded me (as if I don’t matter) and made a beeline for my boss and a couple other of our employees who were with us. During the meeting, he kept calling me “Misty”, and he never acknowledged me when I spoke. And to make matters worse, the name on my visitor’s pass read “Tommy” instead of “Tammie”. All of this is happening in front of the 7-8 people who were in that room. Despite me working with this client for two years now, he still did not feel the need to know who I was, what I did as part of this project and why I was important enough to be there. Let’s just say, this experience was more than embarrassing.
To be honest, I felt bad. I felt really bad. How could someone be this forgetful? I’ve been working with him for two years now…I’ve been CC’ed on all the emails…I’ve been at all the meetings. Am I that irrelevant?
Despite how I felt that day, I didn’t want to let that situation bring me down. In fact, it motivated me…motivated me to be more open with my ideas, to speak up when necessary and not to be afraid of rattling the boat a little. Below, I’ve listed four ways to help you get professionals to remember your name. At the end of the day, your name and your reputation holds weight. So start by introducing yourself.
If possible, try to introduce yourself rather than letting someone else introduce you. When you introduce yourself, it shows initiative and character. Let them wonder why it’s important for them to know you.
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with introducing yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak up when it’s time. If you have an idea, share it. If you have a concern, share it. If you need more clarification, then ask. Let your voice be heard.
Exchange business cards and/or social media often. And don’t just take their information, but actually take the time to interact with them at a later date. The more times they see your name/face, the better. It’ll make things much easier the next time you’re CC’ed in an email.
Understand two things: 1) not everyone is going to like you and 2) some people will only like you when you’re in the spotlight. Either way, continue doing your job the best way you know how and let it go. There are people who are going to be like that regardless, and you can’t spend the rest of your life being a people pleaser. Sometimes, your nonchalant demeanor could be just enough to stir their interest…yes, even though you’re not trying.
I’ve learned a thing or two since that meeting. I’ve learned that you can’t be scared to stand out from the rest, and you can’t be scared to voice your ideas. I plan to keep applying these techniques to my professional life, and I hope that these techniques will work as flawlessly for you as they did for me. Have you experienced a similar situation like the story I told above? Please share in the comment section below. Let your voice be heard!