There’s nothing sweeter than the sound of one’s own name. Remembering the name after a long and dry spell in communication yields a warm, “Wow! You still remember my name?”

There are several taboos to avoid in selling but start with these three and see the positive effect

Remembering Names

Progressive sellers cannot afford the luxury of saying “I’m poor at remembering names “.’There’s nothing sweeter than the sound of one’s own name’, so goes a famous quote. And it’s true. The more when you pronounce it correctly and use the name the buyer prefers. For instance, calling buyer Cynthia Kyalo as Kyalo (and not Cynthia)  because her eyes light up when you do, and correctly pronouncing Kyalo as ‘Chalo’ generates warmth that connects you to her and accelerates the sale that bit more. Contrast this with, “The guy in a red shirt”, or, “What did you say your name was?”,  or, worse, calling Kyalo, Kageche. In addition, remembering the name after a long and dry spell in communication yields a warm, “Wow! You still remember my name?”  And to help in remembering a name, look the buyer in the eye as she says it and as you shake hands, repeat it back to her, “Kyalo. Good to meet you. My name is Kageche.” And use his name during the pitch and write it down as you take notes during meetings. Take it with the same gravity you would when you are told the name of your new CEO.

Continuing the conversation

“Where were we?” the buyer asks. Half way through the pitch, his phone rang or a colleague interrupted to draw his attention to an urgent email and he lost track of the conversation and now asks you where to pick it from. To say, “I also forgot” doesn’t present you in good light even if his face lights up with, “Oh yes, I remember…” Remember, you asked for the meeting; it’s your meeting and you should be in charge of it. To say you don’t know also opens up the conversation to moving at a tangent, veering off in a direction you don’t want as it is wasting his time and yours. In fact woe betide you if he is a chatterbox whom you have to keep bringing back to the conversation track; forgetting where you were will see him bounding off to talk about politics, the weather, football, his child’s performance, you catch the drift.  Again, note taking comes in handy here in ensuring recall.

Asking for a referral

Asking for referrals is an effective way of prospecting. It saves time and shortens the sales cycle because you already have a foot in the door.  But referrals do not come automatically. You have to ask for them in a way that is easy for the buyer to respond effortlessly. I know a barber who when complimented for a job well done, gives the client two business cards with the request, Please give a card each to the next two people who compliment you on your haircut”.  Contrast that to: “Please tell people about my barbershop”. Your guess is as good as mine which of these two would yield a favourable response for the barber.


Check out our short courses and other services here. If you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 374

About Author

Related posts

From mistake to mastery: How apologizing can save your sales

There is no shame in apologizing. If you are a salesperson, or even the President, and you have made a mistake, there is no shame in saying, “I am sorry.” Saying, “I’m sorry” saves sales. And doing it in those words, is not only empathetic, but it also shows ownership and is human. In the

Read More

Abductions, extrajudicial killings, and an idea whose time has come

“In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.” With the ongoing Gen Z protests in Kenya, could this be the problem we are facing in our politics? Spoken by industrialist J Paul Getty in the mid-20th Century and typically associated with business, the goings-on in Kenya’s political landscape would appear to show

Read More

Sell effortlessly: navigate from bloody sales waters to blue oceans

What does the hawker that roams the residential area in the evening and the medrep that sells at night have in common? Stay with me to find out; and no, it’s not that they are night runners. For now though, are you selling in bloody waters? Could this be limiting your sales? If you are

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.