3 experiments done by The Journal of Consumer Research demonstrated that remembering someone’s name facilitates their compliance with a purchase request made by the rememberer.
Experiment 1 showed that name remembrance increased request compliance. Name forgetting, however, does not cause a decrease in compliance.
Experiments 2 and 3 showed that name remembrance was perceived as a compliment by the person remembered, which mediates compliance with the purchase request. Experimental manipulations of the likelihood of name remembrance (experiment 2) and need for self-enhancement (experiment 3) provided results consistent with a complimentary explanation for the findings.
The 3 simple strategies:
STRATEGY 1. Repeat their name 3 times within 60 seconds
Immediately after the introduction and when receiving somebody's name, you repeat their name and give it back. If the name is unique and not easy to pronounce, when you repeat it, make sure to ask if you pronounced it correctly. People can get offended if you pronounce their name wrong. Example.
"Hi, my name is Vital. And you are?"
"Nice to meet you Erin. Erin as in E-R-I-N."
"Oh, you're from Chicago. I love Chicago. Where abouts in Chicago Erin?"
STRATEGY 2. Use word association.
Do they have the same name as a friend? If so, connect their name to your friend. By thinking of that friend you will remember their name.
Does their name sound like another word? Example. This is a true incident that recently happened. The lady's name I met was Samela. I said her name 3 times during the first 6- seconds but felt I wouldn't remember it. I said, "Great name, very unique. How do people remember that?" She said, "Pamela but with an S." I will probably never forget her name though powerful word association.
Don't be afraid to ask people for tips on how to remember their name. They will gladly help you.
STRATEGY 3: Visualization.
Depending on what works best for you, there are several options regarding visualizing their name. I tend to imagine seeing and reading their name printed on their forehead.
You can visualize their name as an oversize art installation, on your computer screen, filling up the wall in your living room. Use what ever methods works best for you, but use a strategy that will help you achieve the goal of remembering names. It pays high dividends.
If they have the name of a celebrity I imagine talking to the celebrity for a moment. Example: If their name is Henry, I'll imagine them dressed as Henry VIII. If there name is Bill, then I'll imagine them using their thumb to highlight a point.
Once you have remembered their name, remember several meaningful facts about that person that you have discovered are important to them during this initial conversation: where are they from, do they have children or pets... this will provide you a platform to find common ground, making you more relatable. In addition it will help you customize the experience to their needs and personality.
Now that you have their name memorized, use if often throughout any interaction with them. BUT! Make sure to not OVER-use it. That will defeat the purpose of making them feel important and valued.
Thank you - Vital Germaine
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