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WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Objective:

Try to learn about the role a person's name has played in their psychological development, and, how you create a stronger committed relationship with your customers by using their name.
What is your name? Is it Bill, Jane, Sue, . . ? All through your life you have been called something. It is most often the name that your parents gave you on the day you were born. When someone is unhappy with you it may be any of another list of names that we won't mention. You probably don't appreciate being called by those names. You much prefer being called by the name your parents gave you at birth. Isn't that interesting! You aren't even the one who picked your name - your parents picked your name, and yet, YOU prefer to be called by that name.
Why would you want to be called by a name that you had no part in choosing for yourself? Why is it so important to you? Your name was the very first word you learned as you began learning the language you speak. As you became aware of yourself as an individual your name became an integral part of that individual. Without a name you would have no concept of being an individual person. As you matured you learned that you also had other names that connected you with a group of people known as your family. This other name, your last name (surname), gave you a knowledge of belonging. Without your surname you could not identify yourself as being a part, a member of a body.

You have grown up believing in that name. Your inner being has been associated to the world around you through your name. When other people in this world are in need of something you possess, the very first thing they must have, in order to make contact with you, is your name. Without a name you aren't worth as much to the rest of the world.

All of what you have read so far is something you may or may not have given thought to in the past. Maybe you already recognize these facts or maybe this is the first time you have ever given them any thought at all. One thing is sure: subconsciously, your name has always been one of your most valued possessions. It is your identity and your security.

Do you recall the first time you ever fell in love with someone. It may have been only puppy love or it may have been much more. Did you do what so many of the rest of us did? Did you write that person's name on items belonging to you such as your notebooks, etc. If you are a girl, why didn't you just write "boy," and if you are a boy, why didn't you just write "girl?" That would have been a better description than the name of the person. In English we learned that a noun is NOT a person, place, or thing. Rather, it is the name of a person, place, or thing. The name of that sweetheart meant much more to you than the description of that sweetheart. When you wrote or spoke that name it generated thoughts, pictures in your mind, and feelings within your emotions.

When we meet someone for the first time, what is the question we always ask? "What is your name." We communicate with people much better when we know their name, whether we use it in our conversation with them or not.

Can you begin to understand why it is so important to call a person by their name? It simply raises your importance to that person. You have made a personal connection with them which did not exist before using their name.

But what if you do not know their name as they come in as a customer! What then? There are many instances in business where you will not have the opportunity to learn every customer's name. In such cases you miss the possibility of giving better customer service. This is understood. But, in these kinds of situations, when the occasional opportunity to learn a name comes along, don't pass up the occasion to make good use of it.

Following are some helpful bits of information you can use to your advantage.

Because we often forget a person's name almost immediately after being introduced, make it a habit to mentally connect that person's name with something or someone else you already know. Many times after being introduced to someone I have found myself searching my memory for the name of the person I met thirty seconds ago. Someone introduced us and we began our conversation. Then, after a minute or so, I am at a loss to remember their name.

I have learned to hang onto that name and try to connect it with the name of someone else I already know. If it is Bill, I relate this new person to the name of my brother-in-law. If the name is Sherry, I relate it to the name of one of my past students whose house burned down, etc. Then, after ten minutes into the conversation, when I need to recall the person's name, I know it was the same as my brother-in-law, or the same as that lady in my class whose house burned down.

When you hear the name of a new customer you must learn that name. You must do something to help you remember that name. Any gimmick that works for you is OK to use. Then, when you speak with this customer today or next week, they will feel a closer kinship with you and your business.

When you are speaking with someone be sure to mention their name at least once every three or four sentences. You will need to make this a conscious effort without appearing awkward. By using a person's name you will cause them to appreciate everything you say and do much more than if you do not use their name.

When talking to someone on the telephone it is very important to use their name often. It is also important to give your name at the beginning of the conversation. Most businesses prefer that you answer the telephone in a manner that includes your name. The standard procedure suggested by most businesses is as follows:

"Good morning, this is Big Business, my name is MrKent. How may I help you today?" It is important that you announce the above statement carefully and with sincerity. Too often, these introductory statements become memorized and are spoken so rapidly that they carry absolutely no meaning to the listener. It is important that you answer the telephone with an attitude of interest in whom the caller is, and, what you really can do to be of assistance to them.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT 24 HOURS

Take your paper and pencil with you over the next 24 hours and make notes on how much different you are received by making it a point to call someone by name.