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A guy called this evening and introduced himself. I was thrown off because his area code was in my state and the same area code as my dads. I was expecting a call from my dad to give me an update on a family situation. I answered the phone, 'hello?', when I usually answer it professionally. The man stated who he was and I was on my way into my office to speak with him.
I did not ask him his name again, but tried to see if his email address had something with his name in it. It didn't. I looked up his domain registration information - nothing.
This sounds so trivial to ask for advice on, but I need some ideas on how to ask what their name is in a professional way. I don't want to seem like I am not listening to what they are talking about - I'm just really bad at names. (This also applies to meeting someone in person). Any ideas?
If it's not in person you can always do a phone number lookup.
One time at a company Christmas party I couldn't, um, remember anybody's name so instead of saying, "Hi, so and so, this is my friend [date] so and so" I said, "Hi! This is my friend so and so!" And then, of course, they'd introduce themselves and I'd know their name. :D
I also use "Let's get the nuts and bolts tightened up to start with. I know you've given me this before, but let's fill in this form from square one, okay? Your full name?" and go on to email addy, phone, etc.
Of course, I have a built-in excuse: senior AND blond.... 2 or 3 kids under 6 works well too.... (DELIVER ME....)
[Edit: in person is easier (for me anyway) - while I'm NOT a ditz normally, I can "do" ditz quite well thank you. Creative folks aren't supposed to remember names.... In person, I generally blame it on "my admin assistant", who failed to prime me fully, and therefore I'm in the market for a new one....]
2.There is a "karmic preventative" reason happening inside your head ..your sixth sense is trying to tell you that you don't need the "greif"' of knowing this particular person down the line ..
3. I forgot the third
But seriously, if you can't 'remember' people's names, it could be a symptom of poor hearing. Go get it checked.
But, when in a 'forgotten name' situation, I always introduce someone else as "this is my friend so and so" and then make sure my friend catches their name.
(otherwise, if no one else is around, I ask "do you have a business card?")
On the phone, I ask for a full spelling and phone number to call back at.
Hope that helps!
"What is your name" always works for me. They will only do business with you if you have something to offer them that works!
I make hundreds of thousands of dollars for some of my clients, yet still some can't remember my name, and in fact I have a problem remembering them too.
It doesn't actually matter!
I abuse my clients, they abuse me, we have a free for all, and none of us much care while the bottom line is good for all.
These situations occur when I'm doing something else, like home related. I'm not in my office until 20 seconds into the phone call because I am usually running up the stairs to get that piece of paper to write their details down. We are supposed to have a separate life other than work, right? ;)
Most are human and just like you forget. Like right now, I can't remember exactly your name in the forum or anyone elses, but I'm sure they are not going to jump off the cliff because of it. You should just be you..... From my experience; most like "REAL". So just be "REAL". If you are else where and your phone rings, carry a mini pad in your pocket, purse, or where ever you want. You can even right it on your hand and bring a hand sanitizer when your done putting your notes in you pad. If you really want to get organized in this fashion, just have an organizer with a calender, address area and things to do, etc and write a note pad to yourself to check it every day. It does not have to be a big bulky book, just simple "Keep it simple"...
And gradually, I'm remembering to write these things down!
I asked my colleagues. Nada. They hadn't heard of the person who referred her either.
So I googled the new client's phone number and came up with a link on a website affiliated with a company where I was on a short list of interviewees, but didn't get the job. I guess they kept me on file...
I meet people around town fairly regularly who obviously know me, but I can't recall ever having met them before.
How ya doin' mate? (to all incoming calls)
Good on ya mate (when praising)
ah mate, go and ... (when not praising)
I'll have a Fourex mate (when thirsty)
Well mate, I did it for the boys (obligatory response from all male sports persons)
There is a popular myth that "mateship" is a great Aussie tradition... bollocks, no-one can be bothered remembering names!
If their name happens to be John they'll say yes. If it's not, they'll think you messed up and say "Nope, this is still ...". Then write the name down so you don't forget again, stupid :)
Other than that I might have a "secretarial assistant" call and take down their full contact information, or hack together a "clients" only area with a short registration form that has them fill out their basic contact info (including their name).