There’s a new dry cleaner in my neighborhood. I went there a couple of times and then I’ve been out of town for the past month or so and I just went for the third time and as I walked in the guy working said “Ty Bennett, right?” And it surprised me. I told him I was impressed with his ability to remember names. He played off the complement, but was very interactive and personable during my visit. It reminded me how powerful a name was and where I learned that lesson.
A few years ago I had a speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I flew in late and got to the hotel. I asked if the restaurant at the hotel was open and they said that it wasn’t. They said that there was a Panera Bread down the street that I could walk to that would still be open. So I walked down to Panera Bread, ordered and was waiting off to the side for my food. All of a sudden this older gentleman opened the door and walked in. The worker at the cash register said, “Hey Jim, how are you?” And then another person walking by said “Jim, good to see you.” Yet another one of the workers said “Jim, so glad you could make it in tonight.” Jim ordered his food and came and stood by me. I said “Jim do you come here often?” He looked at me with a big smile on his face and said, “Where else would I go?”
Sometimes we forget how powerful remembering someone’s name is or how much it means to him or her. They say the most beautiful sound to a person is the sound of their own name. So just a little reminder that remembering and using people’s names will not only make their day, but it will build your influence and your connection.