If you have ever watched a Sherlock Holmes movie or saw the television versions (especially “Sherlock” on the BBC) you will notice that the secret to Holmes’ incredible deductions is his observational skills. When it comes to networking, we can all be more attentive by looking for things to compliment the person we meet on, being a better listener, seeing the non-verbal clues, and most of all noticing the things we have in common with them and for ways we can work together.
Sherlock Holmes didn’t miss a thing. For us, we should work on really trying to remember people’s names when we first meet them. Holmes used something he called his “Mind Palace” as a way to remember important information. To do this we must pick something meaningful to us and label it in a way our brain can quickly recall. Maybe that means we attach a physical attribute to a person to help us recall their name (“Tall Tom” or “Sandy from San Diego”) to help us. It’s okay to ask someone to repeat their name if we forgot it, it shows we cared enough to want to remember it.
Collecting business cards are always a byproduct of attending an event. Most people don’t do much with these cards when they return to work the following week. To be extraordinary, follow-up with a nice note. As smart as he was, Sherlock Holmes’ social skills were not that good . . . but he was such a genius he got a free pass (most of the time) for his lack of tact. What if you combined your superior intellect with incredible manners and a mastery of following up with a clever or caring note?