What do your customers want to hear? Their name.


It is unquestionable that one of the most important aspects of creating a successful career is networking. Attending events, conferences, parties, linking on social media, exchanging business cards, lunch and dinner meetings…the list goes on.

When we meet someone for the first time, we are generally concerned about the impression we will make. We perfect our handshakes, introductions and elevator pitch—success! The introductions conclude and we know we have left a positive impact. But one thing is missing…we forget the other person’s name!

This scenario happens all too often. In the business world, introductions are important, but the ensuing interactions are what seal the deal. Take care to remember names and truly engage. See below for a few simple reminders on how to remember and use a name:

Remember …

1. Listen First. Your introduction is important, but so is theirs!

2. Ask a question. Uncover something memorable about the individual by asking a question you can pare with their name.

4. Repeat their name. Such as, “Good to meet you, Bill.”

5. Try to use their name in conversation. “Bill, how’s business lately?” Using it in every sentence would be a bit much, but used sparingly it will be beneficial.

6. Remember first and last names. It is easier to remember and differentiate between contacts if you remember both first and last names.

7. Keep a record. Keep a stash of all the business cards you collect and enter them into a database. Include contact information and anything memorable about them, such as a business venture, hobby, characteristic, etc.

Follow up…

1. Address all emails with their name.

2. Know how they like to be addressed. First name? Last name? Nickname?

3. Always greet them by their name when you see them in person.

As Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, says, “Remember That A Person’s Name Is To That Person, The Sweetest And Most Important Sound In Any Language.”

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