Names! Names! Names! Names are important. Whether for you personal, social, or professional life, names get you in. I first learned about the importance of names back in 2004 when I first started working with the Southwestern Company as an independent sales dealer. Our sales talk was sewed around dropping names that our prospects could connect to. Today, when I propose my services as Relationship Strategist for individuals and corporates, when I meet with friends and make new friends, when I ask for business referrals, I can still notice how important names are. Folks, this is Max, Your Relationship Strategist and this article is about the power behind names because RELATIONSHIP MATTERS.

Imagine yourself moving in a new country or new area and you know no one and no knows you. How would give yourself credit? In business, as you prospect for new clients in a new area, what would make you and your offer legit? Imagine yourself hitting on this absolutely charming and very attractive lady, how would you approach her? Well, to all those questions, names play a key role.

Names help to connect - Numerous times, at a network event, at a party, at a job interview, at a friend’s diner, or event during a business transaction, names is what helped me to positively differentiate myself from others. I remember when selling books with the Southwestern Company as a student, I used to drop about 10 to 15 names with 1 may be 2 connecting names to have a targeted prospect let me get inside his house so I could do my demonstration. Today as I look for future clients, new ways to expose my service, names is the one tool I constantly use so I can get connected.

HOW DO YOU USE NAMES TO CONNECT? Here is the key: give names to get names. Let the person in front of view know the people you already dealt with and you have good relationship with. If you already did the research and you know the one person you both know, then drop that name. That name is what I call the connector. The connector helps to make connections.

- You must be Franck?
- Yeah that’s me. (looking surprised)
- I heard so much about you from Steven McGregor, a business partner of mine and now close friends.
- Yeah I know Franck, he is a close relationship of mine.

From that point on, the connection through the connector has been established, the next step will be to treat the person as a VIP and later to introduce the purpose behind this new connection but I will give you strategies on that in a future post. Whether you are talking about a friend, a business partner, a company, or a product, the same approach can be used to help make the connection: give names and connecting names.

Names give credibility – By giving names, you do what I call the “open card”, you make yourself transparent to the person in front of you and you send me a very important message: if you want, you can ask about me to those people, you can check the performance of that product, you can check my last work with that company… In these times where competition is tough, people’s trust low, having people or other types of referencing that can speak on your name is definitely a plus. Giving names gives you that plus as it makes you legit.

Names give opportunity - As you go to create a new contact, to approach a new prospect, to enter a closed networking group, your goal is to establish a relationship that will facilitate and lead to sell your product, get your job, be part of the closed networking group… For each of those cases, names are like your passport. The names you gives tell about who you deal with and allow then to rate you and to guess about what kind of person you may be. Therefore based on the names you drop, the use of those names as of their presentations and later the introduction of what you have to offer, the person in front of view will give you the opportunity to at least express yourself. In few words, tell who you know, if I connect to those people and I respect them, then I’d love to hear about you and what you have to offer. Then if you sound great to me and so sounds your offer, then I’d love to deal with you.

Names set you apart – I love the Dale Carnegie Training. I did their training in Cologne (Germany) in 2001, I did it again in 2004 in Paris (France), and I last year in 2008 I took another class of the Dale Carnegie Training in the Nashville,TN (United States). At each of those classes they thought me how to remember people’s names and the greeting people with their names properly pronounced, with love and respect. What a powerful tool to create a tremendous long-lasting impression in people mind right from the first time you meet. Greeting people with their names from the first time you meet them set you apart. It shows consideration, and care. It touches in a very good way, people’s self-esteem. Dan Moore, the President of the Southwestern Company, is a great practitioner of that tool and through the Southwestern Company internship, they teach constantly teach to students who participate to the program how to use names as a tool to value people and positively set themselves apart.

How good are you at remembering people’s names? How good are you at using them properly? You stuff done, you need connection, then work on your names. You need some help on it, let me know, I can connect you to experts in the subject. My name is Max and remember… RELATIONSHIP MATTERS.

Author's Bio: 

Max-Marc Fossouo is a Relationship Strategist, Founder of He believes that relationship is at the heart of any success and so is action. Driven by passion, Max is convinced that relationship matters and here is his view of relationship: "In relationship, do not ask what someone can do for you, but what you can do for the person. It is not how you can be served, but how you can serve. Not what you can benefit, but what they can benefit from you. To be there for others is not just relationship, it's also leadership."
Max conducts Motivational speaking, seminars, and shows about Relation and Success.
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