Client relations begin when the sales rep gives a prospect the impression that they matter—the most important form is remembering their names. This list of tips will give you the edge in forging trust at the very first handshake and turning succeeding follow-ups into a long-term relationship. Read on to find out more.
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In this article:
- What Is Client Relations?
- Why Names Start Customer Relationships with a Bang
- Add This Technique to Your Sales Skills and Kill It at Customer Relations
- This Easy Memorization Trick Will Ensure Mastery of the Art of Remembering Names
- Names, Personalized Aspects, and Client Relations for Closers
Remembering Names for Better Client Relations
What Is Client Relations?
It is the process wherein a rep or a client relationship manager nurtures a connection with a prospect with the intention of turning them into long-time customers or partners.
Why Names Start Customer Relationships with a Bang
Dale Carnegie wrote, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
This insight is what many customer relationship managers and customer service representatives learn at day one on the job. They perfect the art of remembering names as a basic interpersonal skill and sales best practice for setting client relations off to a good start.
Try this experiment next time you go into a diner. Call the waitress using the name in her tag and see if they’ll smile instantly.
We all want to feel special by having someone acknowledge our individual traits, and our first individual traits are our names. Nobody wants to be known purely as “service representatives” or “human resources manager” because we are not just our jobs or our business relationships.
Remembering your prospect’s names communicates that you don’t just see them as sales metrics and goals but as persons. It shows you respect them at a fundamental level.
Add This Technique to Your Sales Skills and Kill It at Customer Relations
Your account managers and sales reps each do around 11 to 12 sales calls per hour, 90 to 100 calls per day, and 450 to 500 calls per week. Remembering the names of each person they call requires memory approaching superhuman ability.
So how do we do this important client relations and business relationship management feat?
Identifying “one unique aspect” to help each employee remember their prospects, clients and co-workers a little better is part of the culture at XANT.
For example, my one unique aspect that I’m known for is that I am the only person at XANT that, until the age of 20, could fit through a plastic coat hanger without it breaking. (By the way, it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds.)
This “unique aspect” memory technique enables sales reps at XANT to remember a simple aspect about their prospect with the goal of developing a quicker bond and stronger relationship. Imagine the power that could be gained if you applied this idea to your client relations – how much easier would it be to personalize that business connection?
A productive sales team contacts large numbers of prospects per day – depending on your industry. With contacts potentially ranging very high, it’s impossible to remember each conversation individually, let alone something that makes that prospect unique.
Some reps will take the time to, after each conversation, copy down the entire conversation to try to remedy this problem. This is selling the human brain short.
Instead, take advantage of your ability to remember one very unique aspect of that conversation. Imagine how much more productive your client relations could be!
The next time you have a conversation with that prospect, you could refer back to that unique aspect and the conversation instantly gains a personalized tone.
An example of a finding one unique aspect of your prospects could be as simple as your prospect mentioning that they will be out of the office next week because they broke their foot and will be going into corrective surgery. Making note of their appointment and sincerely asking them about their recovery the next time you have a conversation will instantly create a personalized business relationship.
This Easy Memorization Trick Will Ensure Mastery of the Art of Remembering Names
The trouble with names is they are abstract ideas. This quality makes names easy to forget since they are intangible.
Aside from recalling a person’s unique aspect, you can also use the power of associations to better remember their names.
What you can do is to play association games in your name and link a person’s name to something silly.
Take the name “Mark Halperson” for example. You can imagine Mark Halperson holding a marker and marking half a person.
The next time you meet Mark Halperson, your brain will play the funny scenario of Mark running around with markers and highlighting people diagonally or vertically in a bid to “mark half a person.”
If you think doing this is an off-putting experience, I’d like you to know memory championship winners use this memorization technique called mnemonics on a regular basis to remember stuff. It will serve you well in your daily life and in your work, whatever industry you may be in, not just in sales.
Names, Personalized Aspects, and Client Relations for Closers
So remember, the goal of these exercises is to remember the name and a personalized aspect of your prospect that allows you to develop a business bond with them quicker. Not only does this make your business relationship stronger, but it tells your prospect that their business is important enough to you that you remembered something personal about them.
That personalized connection may be the difference between closing a prospect when the seas get rough and losing the deal.
Do you struggle with remembering names when you get in touch with clients? What techniques do you do to remember your clients’ names? Give us your answers in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2012. It has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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