How Saying Someone's Name Can Help You Sell

by | 2 minute read

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.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jes­si­ca is a senior research ana­lyst for Sales­Fu­el focus­ing on sell­ing to SMB deci­sion mak­ers. She also reports on sales and pre­sen­ta­tion tips for Sales­Fu­el and Media Sales Today. Jes­si­ca is a grad­u­ate of Ohio Uni­ver­si­ty.