I was listening to the radio the other day in the car driving to work and a song came on that I had not heard in over 30 years. It was one of those one-hit wonders that I knew all the words to, and I instantly smiled thinking back about where I was when I first heard it. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember who was with me, what we are doing, and those god-awful clothes we wore back then. The early 80s were not kind to fashion.
I am sure you can relate. It happens to everyone, and it can even happen in other ways as well. You eat that piece of candy you used to eat as a kid (although it never tastes as good as you remember, right?) and those memories of you as a kid come flooding back. You pull that old leather jacket out of the closet (yes, I used to wear a leather jacket back in the day. Don’t judge me) and smell the leather and get nostalgic about this or that.
You know, it’s like that with your clients as well. No, they won’t be smelling your old leather jacket, but the principle is the same. When your name is brought up to your client, something pops in their head. They have some dominant memory that they associate with you. And what that says about you tells volumes.
Hopefully what pops in their head is something like “He really knows what he is doing.” Or maybe “He is always so thoughtful.” Hopefully they don’t think things like “He is a little arrogant.” Or “He never shuts up long enough to let me talk.”
Most likely you will never know what people are thinking about you, so why worry about it anyway, right? My argument is that you need to be thinking about this with every single interaction with your clients. Be cognizant of it at all times and remember, it may be all but impossible to shake a bad impression from a client’s mind. So do everything you can to plant good impressions in their minds every chance you get.
Now go smell that leather jacket in the closet. You know you want to.