You want to make your life easier and much more fun? Start remembering people’s names. I use to think that it was just me. I soon learned that the vast majority of people suffer the same shortcoming.
If I had to isolate a single reason why this is such a common phenomenon it has to do with choosing to speak rather than listen. I will say it so you will get my message loud and clear. You talk too much. You need to learn how to “shut up” and listen.
If I were asked what I thought I needed to work on more than any other selling skill, I would respond without hesitation “my failure to remember people’s names.” I am very poor at remembering names, and I know I need to get better. And in all probability, so do you.
I wrote these tips/reminders for me, but you might benefit from them as well.
- Take time to look directly at the person you are speaking with so you can remember what he or she looks like. Smile and make eye contact. Make a concentrated effort at looking them in the eye. Then hold eye contact.
- Be ready to listen. Don’t let your mind wander because the person didn’t immediately capture your interest. Give them more time. Work at this. Stay patient.
- Concentrate on the person’s name and the way it is pronounced. Is there a feature on the person that can help you remember their name?
- Repeat the person’s name immediately. Spell it out in your head, and write it down as quickly as you can. Look at them, and silently pronounce their name three more times to yourself.
- Make an appropriate remark using the person’s name. ”I recognize your name from our customer list, Mr. Johns.” “That is a good point, John.” “Ann, what do you think?”
- You can use the person’s name several times, but don’t over use it and call attention to what you’re doing. If it becomes too obvious, it could get awkward.
- Use the person’s name when he or she departs.
- At the end of the day visualize the people you were with. Repeat their names to yourself silently and remember the body feature that can help future recall.
- Connect the person’s name to your visualization. If necessary, refer to your written notes.
- Use the person’s name again the next time you see them. ”It’s Mr. Johnson, isn’t it?”
If you can master the name game you will be well on your way to better relationships and a more fulfilling business.
Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.
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