You know the word your client likes to hear the most?

Calling a person by name is as simple as it is efficient to win the sympathy of a client and get him to pay more attention to your words. We tell you what effect listening to your name can have on a customer and how not to forget it.


Dale Carnegie, an American entrepreneur and author of the best seller “How to win friends and influence people,” said that “for everyone his name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” It’s a simple way to give a subtle compliment to your interlocutor, make him feel like you care and get his attention. “We should keep in mind the magic that is in a name and understand that it is something unique to that person and to no one else. The name individualizes the person, makes him feel unique among all the others. The information we give, or the question we ask, takes on special importance when we add the name of our interlocutor. From the waitress to the top executive of a company, the name will work miracles when we deal with people,” says Carnegie.

Just as remembering a name is considered a deference, forgetting it, pronouncing it or writing it wrong, it puts you at a disadvantage. People may feel despised and think that you have not paid enough attention to the presentation or that you have found it irrelevant.

However, the fact is that, in occasional encounters, names are usually forgotten rather than retained, even though they have just been told to us. How many times, after spending some time chatting with a person, we retired wondering what did you say your name was? If you’ve managed to get a business card, the problem has to be remedied. Otherwise, you lose a golden opportunity to resume communication with those people in a positive way, as well as to show off your good manners.

There are many reasons why we forget names. Thus, it will be more complicated to retain the names in an act of successive presentations and bustle than in a particular and relaxed act. Other reasons point to the memory of the short term, whose duration, however small the information, is estimated in seconds. Added to this are psychological studies that indicate that, at first contact, the name does not provide useful information that we do find, however, in nonverbal communication. In other words, we are more left with the personal traits or impressions that the new interlocutor transmits to us without pretending that the information expresses.

That initial irrelevance of the name as information is referred to in an article by neuropsychologist Jennifer Delgado Suárez in her blog the corner of psychology, where he speaks of a study conducted by Open University researchers at Walton Hall which showed that, after reading several biographies to a group, the information they most remember after reading them was, In this order, the profession, the hobbies, the city of residence and, then, with enough difference, the name and the surname.

However, no matter how common it is to forget names, this does not take away from us to be involved sometimes in embarrassing situations that tarnish an interesting encounter. According to philosopher and social and emotional learning expert Elsa Punset, “neurologists see that when you call a person by name, their brain becomes more pronounced.”

There are a number of tricks to avoid these situations and to get the name of a person to go from memory in the short term to consolidation in the long term. These are the following:

Repeat or spell the name of the person. If it is a foreign name we can invite them to tell us how to write it. If you haven’t found out very well or you realize you’ve already forgotten, you can ask them to repeat it because they’ve caught you off guard.

Tell someone else about it. A study by the University of Montreal showed that, more effective than repeating things out loud to remember them, is to do so in a communicative context. I mean, telling someone what the name of that person you just introduced to is.

Associate the name with something familiar. Elsa Punset gives examples of how to match names to people you already know or relate them to something you like or family. You can also keep some physical feature that appeals to you, without the need to pronounce the association out loud.

Motivate you: According to Elsa Punset, the basic reason we don’t remember names is because we don’t care much, so it’s best to make the effort listening, first, and remembering, afterwards.

Don’t abuse it. And if it is true that it is nice to realize that they have been able to retain your name, it can also be annoying if they repeat it in every sentence. The risk is to transform that sense of initial exclusivity into that of desire for sale or persuasion.