I have a terrible memory for names … but faces I am pretty good with. But names … I can meet someone, say hello, and seconds later completely forget the name of my new acquaintance. It can be rather embarrassing — for both me and my new friend.
Of course, I have created strategies to help myself and have even tried clever strategic approaches to casually eek out the name of someone weeks later. But they don’t always work:
Once I was introduced to my next door neighbour but forgot his name between his letterbox and mine. Over the next few weeks we would chat as we walked to the bus stop together … and each time I would try to direct the conversation in a way that would reveal his name. I would live in fear that I would have to introduce him to someone that I knew on the bus!
Some time passed and I was becoming more and more concerned about this state of namelessness. Then for a change one morning, I was driving into work with my wife, and I saw my neighbour walking to the bus. This was a great opportunity — I asked my wife to introduce herself. I pulled over and offered him a lift. As he climbed into the back, she turned and said, "Hi, I am Angela". He smiled, extended his hand and said, "Hello, I am your next door neighbour!".
In tribute to Seinfeld, we started calling him "Mulva" — but not to his face, of course.
And because we all have experienced a Seinfeld moment or two, I am sure you marketers out there will nod your head with some of Bill Gemmell’s clever observations on marketing. Check out his free eBook — Seinfeld on Marketing.