Judith. One of my very favourite words, my own name. No, not ego gone mad, fact. Marketers know that if they use your name when addressing you online or off, the response they get is better. We all like our own name.
Don’t go mad and over-use it with your prospects; I expect you can easily recall when some salesman has been all over you like a cheap suit, with a Judith here, a Judith there, a Judith everywhere. That’s not what I mean, that’s an affront. Subtle wins the day here, drop it in elegantly now and again.
But do you know your clients’ names and – more importantly – do you know how to spell them? Do you know whether or not you can get away with calling them Judy (definitely not) or Jude (depends)?
If you are not instinctively good at this sort of detail, and many of us are not, then you need just a couple of simple strategies.
If you are replying to an email from Niki, do not address her as Nicky especially if your response is immediate. Check your spelling or you risk alienating a client like this faster than you can say knife, even if her own spelling is not great. Similarly, please dont call Nicola Nichola or Marion Marian or Louisa Louise. Take the time to check, remembering how important these details are to the person whose name you are using or mis-using.
Face to face is a bit harder, especially if you meet a lot of people. But we are still going to need a strategy here. Have you ever been to one of those early morning short seminars about improving your memory? I have, forget when, ha ha. But I remember the sorts of techniques they teach.
The Americans have a good one for this – immediately you are introduced to someone you repeat their name back instantly. “Hello Mary, this is Judith.” And Mary says “good to meet you, Judith” thus doubling her chances instantly of remembering my name later.
The memory experts teach you to use a trick to remember things by, visualise something which will help you remember that person’s name. So when a client tells you her name is Bianca, what do you immediately think of? Bianca Jagger, say. How do you remember Bianca Jagger per se, as opposed to any woman who has been connected with Mick which, frankly, won’t help you at all? Bianca Jagger was a model, tall and dark. Your client is tall and blonde and you discover she is an ENORMOUS fan of Mick Jagger. Presumably Bianca is somewhat bored by conversations about her name and the Jaggers, but not half as bored as she’s going to be by you if you can’t remember her name next time you meet. And all you have to remember is she may turn out to be the biggest prospect of your career, maybe not in her own right but who she can connect you to, for Bianca is an Ace Networker.
Got any tips for using and remembering the names and spellings of people who are important to your business? Professional Networkers and Supporters, this is your chance to share your best tips with the rest of us struggling with senior moments and hasty fingers.