How Sweet The Sound


Dale Carnegie, in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” stressed that “names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

That includes the name of your business – the one you’ve worked so hard to build — and the names of your customers – without whom you wouldn’t have a business!


Picture yourself single and a guest at a dinner party.

People talking. People laughing. Music playing. Silverware and glasses clinking. Guest eating. Lots of background noise.

And you just met the woman or man of your dreams.

You’re “hitting it off” and then comes that critical moment: she or he asks your name.

You can’t mumble it. She or he won’t be able to hear you over the noise.
You can’t fumble it. She or he might think you can’t even spit out your own name.
You can’t shout it. She or he may think your too aggressive and walk away.

You must deliver your name with confidence, clarity, and eye contact.

Then, when she or he shares their name, you must listen like it’s the most important thing you’ll ever hear.

And if you play your cards right you just might get the chance to someday say “I Do” standing in front of a church across from her or him using the same confidence, clarity, and eye contact.


Treat the verbal delivery of the name of your business – the one you’ve worked so hard to build – with the same level of confidence and clarity it deserves.

This does three things: it relates the name of your company, the ethos that your company is confident and proud of the work it does, and that customers should want to work with you.

Where we often fail in this delivery is when we answer the telephone.

You say the name of your company so frequently, it can roll off your tongue perfunctorily when you pick up the phone. You can come across flat, even robotic, and customers can hear you as disinterested in speaking with them.

And considering so many people are calling on cell phones with the audio fidelity of two tin cans connected by twine, super clarity is critical.

When the phone rings, greet that caller with the name of your company so they will remember you and want to work with you.

You might even surprise that pesky telemarketer.


Knowing the names of your customers is just as important as customers knowing your name.

Remember what Carnegie said? “Names are the sweetest and most important sound…”

When answering a customer’s call, learn their name and call them by name in your conversation. Similarly, learn the name of their company and mention it in your conversation.

Use the same level of interest and enthusiasm you would in sharing your name or the name of your company.

You’re doing a couple of things: you’re letting that customer know they are important, that their company is important, and it will help you recall their name when you talk again.


Back to the dinner party where you just met Miss or Mister Right and she or he has shared their name with you. Commit it to memory as best you can.

If you forget it, they’ll think you weren’t listening.
Or you didn’t care to listen.
And heaven help you if you call them by the wrong name.

That’s why it wouldn’t hurt to keep a notebook or a computer doc to jot notes about “Robert” or “Danielle” from “Acme Widget Solutions.” The next time you talk with them you might better remember their names and what they’ve shared about their company’s goals.

So, what’s in a name? With the right delivery, plenty, for you and your customers.