What’s in a Name? (Why Saying Their Name is Important)

Have you ever heard of Jordan Belfort or the movie The Wolf of Wall Street ?

Leo DiCaprio artfully plays Jordan Belfort in Wolf of Wall Street

If you’re in sales or business and haven’t, you’re probably living under a rock. He is one of the most well-known salesmen (probably one of the most controversial as well). Maybe some of his motives were….well, questionable. But one thing I know is true-the guy knew how to frickin’ sell.

One big thing I noticed after watching him go on cocaine benders and partake in other immoral activities was that he was not only successful because of his confidence and persuasive tactics, but because he would do one little thing anyone cansay AND repeat your prospect’s name.

Even the master of communication-Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, states:

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language

A name is more important than the language you are speaking?!

Yep. The way someone says their name or pronounces it will engage them more than what you are saying or what language you are speaking.

This holds true outside of trying to close a deal to hit quota. Whether you’re trying to ask that cute guy and girl out or want your kid to obey your rules or even get that promotion you’ve always wanted. Saying someone’s name can automatically grab their attention. Leil Lowndes mentions this in her book as well, How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships.

She uses an example when she is talking about inside sales. When you have a prospect on the phone, they are more likely to listen or engage with you if you say their name repeatedly.

(If you don’t remember your prospect’s name, shame on you! One trick I have learned over the years is to write their name on a piece of paper before I call. If I run into a brain fart moment or am rambling I calm myself by looking at my scribbled paper and say their name. Even if they don’t pick up, at least I will be prepared. Nothing is worse than being unprepared for a call with a big prospect. Not only do you lose that sale and credibility, you look like a big ole dufus.)

Even Destiny’s Child circa 1999 taught us a lot by these simple lyrics:

“Say my name, say my name
Destiny’s Child circa 1999 giving me throwback feels and revealing my age

Makes sense though, right? Think about the last time you were at a party… and someone you hadn’t seen in ages said “Hi, [insert your name here]” vs. “Hi…you”.

Were you more impressed by the person who said your name or turned off by the person who simply said “you”? Remembering someone’s name can also be an ego boost, so boost away. See what new wins you can make.

You’ll start to notice how important and engaging it is once you actually pay attention :)