When you are introduced to someone, either in person or online, do you shorten their name? Do you say Tom when meeting Thomas? Dave when introduced to David? Sue to Susan? Stop! Here is how to address your prospects correctly.
Call Me By My Name!
Many people don’t like their names shortened without their permission, myself included. In fact, many people consider it downright rude! So much so, that in sales, making the assumption that you can shorten smeone’s name could lose you the sale.
It is much safer in a sales call to ask, “Do you prefer Tom or Thomas?” than to just assume. In fact, it’s much safer in any situation!
What is the Correct Formal Title to Use
It is also not a good idea to make assumptions when using formal titles in emails or other business correspondence. Your prospect could be a doctor and therefore you should not automatically address him as “Mr.” when “Dr.” is actually correct. Many women find it insulting when they receive an email addressed to “Mrs.” when they are not married. In this case, the title “Ms.” would be more appropriate. On the other hand, some women who are married do not like this term. When in doubt, it is better not to use a formal title than to risk insulting someone.
The Bottom Line on Addressing Your Prospects Correctly!
The bottom line is knowing how to address your prospects correctly is critical to be successful in sales. Why? Because if you address someone incorrectly, you can do more damage than if you never addressed them at all. Shortening someone’s name with out their permission can be as much of a costly mistake in sales as opening your prospecting call with “How are you today?”
On the other hand, as Dale Carnegie once said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” More motivational quotes here.
Want more ideas on how to present yourself and your product more effectively? Download my webinar video, Close More Sales by Making a Better Sales Presentation – How to present your product so the customer actually buys.
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone. Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.