June 05, 2013
I conducted a completely unscientific experiment some time ago and I’m convinced my findings could be a networking game-changer for millions of Americans. Read on to see how you can increase your chances of being memorable...
Here’s What I Did...It all started when I went in to my favorite salad and sub shop (that’s a hoagie or grinder for you folks in other parts of the country), to grab some takeout for my family. The man behind the counter was wearing a super cool hat. I don’t know why, but I blurted out, “That is an awesome hat, it really suits you.” A big grin crossed his face and a warm thank you gushed from him immediately. I paid for my food and was off. A week later, I was back in for takeout, the same man was there working the counter. However, when I walked in this time, his face lit up and I got a warm, “Hello, nice to see you!” We started chatting and I learned he was the owner. We talked about the business, how long he had been cooking, and so on. It was if we were old friends. This continued each time I went in for food. Around the sixth week (What can I say? My family loves the food!), my new friend and I exchanged pleasantries. As he handed me the food, he said, “I noticed you’ve never tried our roast beef. It’s the best in town. I put one in there for your family to try.” I was stunned, what a kind gesture. And, yes, it was delicious! As I sat thinking about this pleasant surprise, I realized it all went back to the day I decided to give an unsolicited compliment to a total stranger. And, it made me wonder, “Could this success be replicated?”
Experiment = Compliment 5 Strangers And Track The ResultsI decided the only way to see if this was a fluke was to conduct a controlled test. (Someone please tell my dad I’m finally putting that Engineering Psychology degree to good use!) I selected a few places where I knew I would come in contact with strangers and decided to try to compliment each one. Here’s the breakdown. I told the:
- Toll booth lady in the morning I loved her leopard-print eye glasses because they framed her face nicely and made her look hip.
- Guy I've never met with an office down the hall from me that I liked his coffee cup.
- Check-out girl at the grocery store I loved the pale purple nail color she had on.
- Grocery bagger I liked the way he organized my food in the bags.
- Toll booth gentleman on my way home I liked his leather gloves.