Frager Factor

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Guest Post—Linda Coles: Want to be memorable? Use people's names, they love hearing it!


Use Their Name, It's Important


Why is it that when someone uses our name, we instantly jump to attention, our ears prick up, our antennae switches to high alert, and we pay a bit more attention? It’s because it’s the 157one thing that we totally associate with ourselves and no one else.
Yes there are many people with the same first name as you in the world, but when someone actually says the word in your vicinity, you instantly respond and pay more attention, they are talking to you.
Last week, I dropped my car off with the valet at the airport to get it cleaned whilst I was away for the day. Nothing special there, but when I approached the kiosk and handed my keys over, the gentleman behind the desk asked, “hi, can I take your business card please?” I handed over my card, and he said “thank you Linda, and how is Blue Banana treating you today?” Huh, my name! Instantly I thought “how on earth does he know, and how cool is that?” Of course, my business card followed by my Visa card gave him all the information he needed, but because so few people take the time and effort to actually use your name, it really stood out for me, he made me feel important, not just another number at the deli counter of life.
The taxi driver on the same day greeted me by name as the firm I was working with that day had booked him and filled him in with my name and where I was going. Nothing new there, but after we chatted during the journey, he wished me a safe flight home and once again used my name at the end in farewell. Nice.
People like to feel important; it’s human nature and by using someone’s name at the right time and in the right manner, it goes a long way to achieving this. It’s easy to do, and yet so few of us do it.
I was waiting in the reception area of a possible client recently, and noticed another chap waiting too. A staff member came out, approached the chap and inquired “Andrew?” “Paul” came the reply, and off they went together. At no time did the staff member apologize for getting his name wrong, and poor old Paul must have been thinking “if he can’t be bothered to get my name right, my interview / pitch is doomed from the start, I may as well leave now!” That’s an insult in anyone’s book.
So how can you use someone’s name just a little more and make them feel important?
Here are some everyday examples of how you can do just that:
  • Jot down the telephone callers name as soon as they introduce themselves and say “hello (insert name here)”. Make sure you say good-bye (insert name here) at the end of the call, even if it’s a telephone marketer that has interrupted you.
  • Use it at the beginning of your email rather than just launching into your message.
  • Why not add it into the beginning greeting of your text? With predictive text and an ample keypad, many people don’t use text language anymore, but full and proper words.
  • Replying to tweets or comments, you are still communicating person to person, just virtually so use their name here too.
  • Use the person’s name that you have just met by saying “hello (insert name here) good to meet you”. Saying it quickly after they have introduced themselves is a great way of remembering it.
So stand out a little from the crowd and be remembered because you remembered to use their name. It’s the single thing we all so love the sound of.
How do you use people's names easily, do you have any tips to add?
Photo: David H. Lewis/E+/Getty Images
Linda Coles is the author of “Learn marketing with social media in 7 days” (Wiley) and is an author, speaker and trainer on building relationships. She lives in New Zealand on a fig orchard. You can get a free sample of a chapter of her book by registering for her newsletter.


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