The art of networking: how note-taking helps you build relationships

, 3 minute read

Have you ever met a really good networker? Someone who seems to build relationships with people quickly and effortlessly, and somehow seem to remember everything you tell them?

Notice how they also seem to always get the sale or the job?

It's no coincidence.

The best salespeople are also the best networkers. They know that the secret to building relationships is to remember the little things that people tell you, and to follow up on them.

Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.- Napoleon Hill

After all, we all like to be remembered. And we all like networking with people who take a genuine interest in us.

🪜 The secret to being a great networker

Fortunately, you don't need to have a great memory to become a great networker. A simple note-taking habit will do the trick. After a conversation, think of a few things that you might want to follow up on the next time you meet, and write them down in your note-taking app on your phone.

As long as the conversation wasn’t terribly boring, there’s bound to be something that you’re at least somewhat interested in seeing how it turns out.

  • Maybe their son or daughter had just made their college applications, including an application to your alma mater.
  • Maybe they were starting some home renovation work, and buckling up for weeks of sawdust and sweat?
  • Maybe they were expecting their first child in the coming weeks?

There's almost always something that's interesting enough to follow up on, and the social benefits of doing that will put you one step ahead of your competition. If you still can't think of anything, pick one of the simple topics below.

💡 Simple topics that are safe to follow up on

Here is a list of topics that are almost always safe to follow up on, and that will make you seem like a great networker:

  • Family. If they mentioned their family, ask them how they're doing.
  • Work. If they mentioned a project they were working on, ask them how it turned out. If they mentioned a promotion, ask them how it's going.
  • Hobbies. If they mentioned a hobby, ask them how it's going.
  • Travel. If they mentioned a trip they were planning, ask them how it went.

And if you're still not sure what to follow up on, just ask them what they're most excited about in the coming weeks. They'll be happy to tell you.

Make sure you write it down as soon as possible, because relying on your fallible human brain to remember it is a recipe for disaster.

⚠️ The danger of relying on your brain

I'll just remember it.

If you're like most people, you've probably said this to yourself at some point. And you've probably forgotten it.

The problem with relying on your brain to remember things is that it's not very good at it. It's not that you're not smart enough, it's just that your brain is not designed to remember exact details for long periods of time.

Whatever it was you talked about, even if it was interesting, is likely be lost to the wind by the time you meet your newfound acquaintance again. But if you write it down and check your notes before the next time you meet, you'll be able to build relationships faster by showing that you genuinely care about the other person.

"The single greatest 'people skill' is a highly developed and authentic interest in the other person."- Bob Burg

The best part? It is not just a facade. If you care enough about someone else's experience to make a note to follow up on, you actually have a genuine interest in them as a person.

So, the next time you talk to someone whom you would like to add to your network, or form a closer professional relationship with, be sure to evaluate which details might be relevant to your next conversation with them, and write them down in your note-taking app.

Who knows? Maybe the next time you meet, you'll be able to ask them how their daughter's college applications went, and they'll be impressed that you remembered.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out the Memrow blog for more articles on note-taking, or Memrow itself for more information about the Memrow app for AI-powered note-taking.

Article written by the Memrow team.