Memory_Tom Wang_0Little Johnny, in sixth grade, came home with a report card that was all D’s and F’s. His father asked why. “I can never remember anything,” answered Johnny.

The old man said, “Well, you’re not going to any more baseball games until you get your grades up. And to begin with, forget tonight’s game.”

“Now, wait a minute,” said the kid. “You can’t do that to me. The Astros are in town. Clemens is pitching I looked hi up on the Web this morning. He’s allowed only 43 earned runs all season, and he has pitched 143.1 innings. That’s with 147 strikeouts, and Roger has booked 12 wins already.”

Can’t remember?

A man I know can’t remember the name of the secretary of state, but he remembers the lyrics to every song Irving Berlin ever wrote. Let me add that Einstein couldn’t remember his own phone number. “Why should I bother,” he said, “when I can look it up?” The things he did remember, nobody could look up unless Einstein himself wrote them down.

Nobody expects you to always remember the names of your customer’s kids, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have them dancing right off the end of your tongue when you need them—if you use the Mackay 66.

You write them down immediately after you leave your meeting with your customer. They go straight onto the form. Five minutes before you walk into his office the next time, you review that form and you’re a genius… or at least you appear to be.

Don’t try to rely on your memory for stuff like that. Pale ink is better than the most retentive memory. Use the Einstein approach. He was no dummy. If it’s written down, you can look it up. Just be damn sure you write it down.


Excerpted from Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

About the author Harvey Mackay

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.

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