Do you know what, sometimes I’m absolutely amazed at how on earth people spell my name! Ok, so Alastair can be spelt a number of ways, there is Alistair (probably the most common variation), then my spelling (Alastair), then, if you’re truly Scottish you’d spell with it a ‘D’ – Alasdair. Everyday, someone emails me or writes to me spelling it wrong because they couldn’t be bothered to check the way I spell it. Oh and by the way, did I mention the people that despite having pressed reply to an email of mine with my name spelt correctly in at least 4 places, they still get it wrong? Now, I’m wary of this post turning into a personal rant, but I DO have a point here so please stick with me
The people I mention here are more often than not in Sales or sometimes applying for jobs (Still selling themselves)! Now this is what amazes me the most – if you can’t even be bothered to spell my name correctly, you’re unlikely to get my business or at the very least you’re going to have to work a whole lot harder for it!
One of my earlier posts about networking picked out the importance of using peoples first names in conversations with them – both face to face and over the phone – its a fantastic way of building up a closer relationship with an individual – well this is my equivalent piece of advice for the written word! Spell people’s names correctly – especially where you are selling to them. It takes very little or no effort to read someone’s email and make sure you double check the spelling – make it the last thing you do every time you send an email from now on and you might just find that sales become easier for you. If you’re reading this wondering what I’m talking about then you probably don’t have a tricky name to spell but this will hopefully still be sound advice because maybe, just maybe you don’t check carefully enough when communicating to others?
Another important aspect of this is taking down names over the phone when you’re going to send something to them. Never assume! Always double check the spelling there and then so when you follow up in writing you have it down correctly.
I’ve probably opened a can of worms now and will receive emails from people that I’ve accidentally spelt their names incorrectly but in reality I’m not really expecting this because something so personal and important to them as a name should be spelt correctly and I make it my business to get this right every time, make sure you do also.