When you are constantly trying to gain the respect of new associates or potential clients, thinking that your huge smile or great reputation will spark their memory, is probably not enough.

No matter how unforgettable you try to be, when meeting new contacts in the business world, the reality is that approximately 90 percent of what you communicate to others is forgotten soon after your interaction. This is especially true when everyone is gathered in a large place, where dozens of new contacts are made.

It is very difficult to break through the crowd and make a lasting impression. Instead of only talking business, which often gets tedious, try to be more purposeful with what you do and say.

The following are a few ideas to try to put you ahead of the competition –

1~ Tell the Truth. Always be honest with people in every situation, even if it costs you a sale. Clients appreciate honesty, and even if they don’t need your services, they will likely recommend you to someone else in the future. Honestly is something that’s always remembered.

2~ Connect Personally. Don’t just be a regular salesperson that only talks about the benefits of their product. Instead try to sell yourself with a person to person connection first. Always ask questions first and get to know your clients needs before you ever mention your product or services. Getting to know people better helps build memorable relationships.

3~ Share stories. While facts and numbers are important, they tend to be forgotten when expressed too much. People tend to connect better when they are told personal stories. Instead of only talking numbers, try sharing stories about how your product or services has helped others. Doing this can enhance your bond, as personal stories have the ability to connect with people’s hearts and minds.

4~ Stand Out. Try doing something to help make you stand out above the crowd. Instead of dressing in a dark business suit for a meeting, try wearing brightly colored dress clothing – helping you stand out. Another idea on how to surprise a potential client is to follow up your meeting with a hand written note. Taking time to hand write a note is rare, and shows that you go the extra mile.

5~ Be Your Best. Because the business world is always so competitive, it’s importantly to constantly strive to go above and beyond what is expected of you for your clients. Never slack when it comes to taking care of their needs and always look for ways to improve your clients’ experiences, coming in before deadlines.

It can be very small touches that set you apart from your competitors, and help to build a professional reputation with your clients.