How to win friends and influence them is one of the greatest books of all times, it is probably the greatest piece of literature ever written about mastering the art of communicating with other people. It has sold of 15 million copies globally and it has been on the NY Times Best Seller List for over 10 years. If you have not read this book you are cheating yourself from being enlightened with possible some of the greatest insights on human relationships and communication skills you will ever come across in your entire life. We are going to explore one of the ideas in this book and how we apply it to our business.
One of the principals in the book talks about how powerful it is to use another persons’ name during communication. Don’t you feel a great sense of importance when someone 2 years ago remembers your name personally? It is extremely powerful when someone remembers your name and you will notice it.
You know the people who always say, “I’m bad at remembering names.” What they are really saying is, “I don’t pay enough attention and I don’t put enough effort to try to remember your name.” Start getting good at remembering names; let us not be like the average joe who can’t even remember a name, and even worse, brags about it! The ability to remember names can pay you huge dividends in the future.
Michael Gerber, the author of the E-Myth, another incredible book to have in your library, talks about an experience he has going to the local 24-hour fitness. Take a note at the simple, yet extremely powerful automated system 24-hour fitness has created to achieve a very high level of client fulfillment and membership retention.
“Here’s another example I love. When I check into my exercise club, 24-hour Fitness, I swipe my membership card into a similar system, and each time I do, the person at the counter hands me back my card and says, and this happens every single time, ’Have a good exercise, Michael.’ Have a good exercise, Michael. Can you believe it? Every time that happens, Sarah, I feel seen! They know me, even though they don’t. Just like me, your client wants to feel seen, and using their name is one of simplest ways to satisfy their need.”
an excerpt from Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Mastery, page 311.
What an incredible little system 24-hour has there, swipe your card and they’ll say have a great workout Wes. Incredible? I thought so when I first heard it, driving down to San Francisco in my car during my move listening to my audio books. It just made me say WOW. You know when you say WOW when an athlete, say, an NBA player makes a huge dunk or does something incredible. Well I say WOW when I hear about entrepreneurs implementing incredible systems and processes. I mean when I walk into a McDonalds, I say WOW, seriously. What an incredible attention to detail the entrepreneurs have put in place here to create a multi-million business that a HS student can operate after reading the Operations Manual, or simply the How To Run a McDonalds manual. That is world-class entrepreneurship at work, that excites me! Wow some of the innovations and systems that entrepreneurs have put in place amazes me.
But lets get back on track instead of learning about how Wes says WOW every time he sees cool business systems at work shall we?
When we can see a great simple concept at work, like the one they put together at the 24-hour fitness, we could easily implement this ourselves too. So here is a little trick that I’ve been using for the last couple months when talking to customers through AOL Instant Messenger.
Anytime someone new, whom I’ve never talked to before messages me on AIM, they’ll ask their question and I’ll of course help them out. But while were talking I will always end up asking for their name. Why? So when the next conversation comes around, I check my message history with meebo (which stores my message history so I can go back in the history and lookup their name, and is also web-based, so I can access it from any computer). So with meebo I can look back in my message history and find their name, of course this only works if you asked them for their name in the last conversation which I always do. Then I can respond back to the 2nd time we talk with a completely customized and personalized reply. Now instead of “sure what can I do for you,” it turns into “Sure absolutely what can I do for you John!”
And they will notice that you remember. And they will think to themselves, “they remembered my name? Cool.”
It is even best, and this does happen quite a bit when someone messages and says, “Hey wes, we talked earlier, you might not have remembered me but, I was wondering if I could get help on …..”
“Hey Joe, of course I remember ya! Sure lets go ahead and fix this issue for you.”
Now that’s what I call exceeding customer expectation! Do this with 1,000 customers, and guess what. You just exceeded 1,000 customer expectations. Can I get a wow, that’s pretty cool?
You can apply this simple concept too now. Just remember the principal that peoples’ names are important to them. And just make sure you catch their name on the first conversation so on the next one you’ll know their name!
So remember names, never let yourself be caught saying, “I’m bad at remembering names.” Those are the lazy people who can’t remember names because they simply don’t understand how important names are and they don’t put any effort into trying to remember names. But you will. So now you can say, “I’m good at remembering names.” How many times do you hear that?
So till next time! We have the bay area meetup202 event on the 31st this month. There were 16 people there last time, and out of 16 brand new faces, I have spent the time to remember each and everyone of them. They were: Matt, Jeff, another Matt, Pete, Claudia, Luba, Jimmy, Christian, Nana, Michael, Giovanna, Silver, Justin, Lana, Alexander and Amy. Oh also, the Café owners are Amy and Andrew.
I hope you received some value from reading this post today. Take charge, and take care. Start the process of becoming a skilled communicator, and the world is yours.