It has been said: “The sweetest sound is hearing your name from another’s lips.” However, how do you feel when that name is pronounced incorrectly or not even your name? Does it bring all sorts of negative emotions about the person uttering it? Do you feel that person does not really care about you is not very good at paying attention to details? Do you feel that your prospects or clients would be any different?
As some of you know, even though I live in Port Coquitlam; a suburb of Vancouver, BC, Canada, my marketing department is in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. Yes, three time zones away. I was speaking, through Skype, with them. Denise, the head of that department got a call that showed it was from Beverly Hills, California. She had it on speaker phone and I know that the person on the other end of the line was doomed from the start when the gentleman asked if he was speaking to Dennis? I may be mistaken, but I know in my lifetime I have never met a woman named Dennis, and yes, she has a very feminine voice. Likewise, I have never met a man named Denise.
A name is very important to a person. If you make a blunder as above, you are in all likelihood done before you even start.
In today’s world, there are many spellings to a name. Therefore, it is up to us to make sure that we have the name correct.
If you are talking to Kathy, ask if it starts with a K or a C. This shows that you care about their name and that you pay attention to detail. You may want to make sure that it does not end with an ie instead of a y and most important if you have to send a follow-up email. Kathy will be appreciative.
It is inexcusable to misspell a person’s name when you reply to an email. After all, it is right there; either in the address or the signature lines. You have no idea how many times I get Jo instead of Joe. By the way, I get really annoyed by Joey.
If you meet a person again but are not quite sure of how to still pronounce it, ask them: “I’m sorry, I have forgotten how to pronounce your name, may I ask that you help me with the correct pronunciation?” This is a lot more acceptable than to completely butcher the pronunciation, or to even get the name completely wrong. I have never been annoyed if someone says to me: “I’m sorry your name escapes me right now.” I prefer that to: “Hi Fred.” That does annoy me.
Obviously, in business as soon as you are given a name write it down, clarify any variation in spelling and make sure that you get the right pronunciation. After that, using it will endear you to your prospect and your bonding and rapport part of the sales cycle is well on its way.
Dale Carnegie stated: “remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance.” How important is your prospect?