by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
However, the more you're on-the-go, the more people you meet and it becomes increasingly hard to place when, where and how you met someone. Ok, it's not increasingly hard - it's hell. At least for me it is.
It's not even about having a senior moment (I'd be the first to cop to it if it were), but rather overload...too much information...too many faces to remember.
Earlier this week I was on a conference call with a new social media strategy client. I knew some of the people on the call well and others I had met only briefly. As we're getting the call started, one woman pipes up
and demands to know why I can't remember her. She told me when, where and how we met and I still couldn't recall. I felt slightly put upon and I thought she was rude to put me on the spot like that. I mean, after the first time I tell you I don't recall us meeting, in the words of Mrs. Bucket (pronounced Bouquet...tee...hee), "Leave it, leave it, leave it!"
I CAN, however, recall flying into Boston directly from speaking at a conference in Chicago to speak at a Marketing Profs event. I woke up the morning I was supposed to speak and didn't know what town I was in. I lay in bed for about 2 or 3 minutes and STILL didn't know where I was. I then got up, opened the window, looked outside and remembered that I was in Boston. (After that conference, I promptly took myself home and stayed there for about a month.) So, I say all that to say, if I can't remember what state I'm in sometimes, how can you possibly expect me to remember that I met you for 3 minutes at a conference 2 years ago?
What's worse, I find that women do this more often than men. Why, I don't know. Which is why I'm writing about it on this blog. Part of marketing your business is networking and if your networking includes putting people on the spot, you're networking efforts won't go far.
So, if you do this to people, please stop. It's certainly OK to say something like, "I think we were on the same panel at NetPromoter in San Fran..." It is not OK, however, to grill someone. If you slip up, just apologize and keep the conversation moving.
Now, I DO NOT say all of this to be rude. I am deeply humbled when people come to hear me speak. And, if you know me well, you know this to be very, very true. I just spoke to a group at Ogilvy's new digs on 11th Avenue (NIIICEE digs...rooftop garden nice) last week and the group wanted to know about me and how I started my career. I am still amazed when this happens. And, at one point during that meeting, I felt a deep sense of gratitude to the people who took time out of a beautiful evening in NYC to hear me speak.
I try to be as gracious as possible when people insist that I know them, but I admit that it does boil my water a bit -- especially when it happens multiple times at one conference.
If this happens to you, what do you do? How do you handle it?