How Saying Someone's Name Can Help You Sell

BY Jessica Helinski
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The inclusion of one little word in your sales conversations has the power to catch anyone's attention. And, it can completely transform your relationships with prospects and clients. As mentioned in the title, that word is someone's name. In her article for Inc., Stacey MacNaught encourages professionals to use others' names when speaking. "A study used MRI scanning techniques to assess how brains 'light up,' when we hear our names compared with hearing other words," she writes. "…a first name is definitely [a word] you can add to your arsenal of vocabulary for a sales pitch, a personalized sales email or even a cover note for a job application.

You can use the power of a first name to do the following:

  • Boost likeability. Just by saying someone's name, you appear more empathetic and caring in his or her eyes. This, in turn, makes it more likely that you can persuade that person.
  • Catch someone's attention. Hearing or seeing your own name instantly is an immediate attention-​grabber. So, try employing this tactic when presenting by sparingly using the prospect or client's name either in your dialogue or on the screen.
  • Be heard in a conversation. Using names can come in handy during networking events, especially during those conversations that involve multiple people. "If a conversation is running away without you or you want to get a point across without appearing to interrupt, the use of a first name can invoke a pause, grab someone's attention and give you chance to make your point," MacNaught explains.

A word of warning: Use names but do so sparingly. As she points out, it would be awkward, and even creepy, to start every single sentence with a person's name. But, saying the other person's name intermittently in communications is a great way to build rapport and ensure you are heard.