My former boss, Andrew Wood is the author of ore than 20 books on sales and marketing. In 2010, Wood added Cunningly Clever Selling to the Cunningly Clever series, the other two titles being Cunningly Clever Marketing and Cunningly Clever Entrepreneur. In Chapter 29 of Cunningly Clever Selling he explains how “Elvis” came to be.
Chapter 29: Elvis Solves a Major Sales Problem
A couple of years ago I hired a young man named Kemp. His unusual first name began to cause problems immediately.
He’d call a prospect and say “Hi, this is Kemp Anderson.”
The prospect would pause and then say, “Did you say Kent?”
“No,” he’d say “it’s Kemp.”
The prospect, unused to the name, would invariably say “Ken?”
“No,” he’d say with rising irritation “Kemp. K-E-M-P Kemp!”
By this point the prospect was either feeling stupid or Kemp was so frustrated and distracted from the sale process that he couldn’t sell anything. It seemed as if every conversation he had started as an argument!
One day I walked in and he was practically yelling at the person on the other end of the phone, trying to get the person to say his name right!
“That’s the final straw,” I said. “Every time I come in here you are arguing with someone about your name. Change it to something else—anything else!”
“Like what?” he said as I walked out the door. “Like Elvis,” I said. “No one will forget that!”
Despite his misgivings, the very next day he started introducing himself as Elvis Anderson. All of a sudden no one ever asked him to spell his name or asked him to repeat it!
And guess what?
People liked the name. They chatted with him, he built rapport, they put his calls through, people actually called him back, and sales went up!
Thank you. Thank you very much!
If your name is hard for people to pronounce use a nickname or your initials.
If you have a difficult or unusual name that will inhibit your sales, change it!