What's In a name?

Do You Know Me?

Do you know me? No, but you sent me a request on LinkedIn. You must want to get to know me or you wouldn’t have done that right? I replied to your request and I sent you a note so that I can get to know you better. I personalized it because I really do want to know you. So I typed, “Hi Patrick,” but no one calls you Patrick accept your mother when she is angry. You find it funny that I would call you Patrick and maybe even a bit annoying. But the funny thing is, that’s the name you used on your LinkedIn profile.

So what’s in a name? A lot. If you are being authentic and working to build relationships online that means you want people to know your name. Not the one your parents gave you, the one you want everyone to call you; unless they are the same.

[Tweet “Being authentic & building relationships online means you want people to know your name.”]

What's In a name?

Elizabeth or Liz, Roderick or Rod?

People have this problem with business cards too. Your name may be Elizabeth and that may be the way you sign checks, but if you don’t want to be called Elizabeth, don’t put it on your card (or your LinkedIn profile). I asked a friend of mine about this once. I asked why he put Roderick on his card instead of Rod, the name everyone calls him. He told me that he was trying to trick salespeople. If a salesperson got a hold of his card and then tried to call to sell him something they would ask for Roderick. That’s how he would know that person didn’t really know him.

I replied, “That’s crazy, what if it’s a prospect calling and they ask for Roderick, the name you put on your card? P.S. Most salespeople are smart enough to figure that out and would probably ask for Rod.”

LinkedIn is not a legal document. It’s a networking platform. When you meet people at a networking event and introduce yourself, what name do you give? That’s the name you should use on LinkedIn.

Are you hurting your image?

Whatever your reason is for putting your given name on your marketing materials and social media, consider this: you may be hurting your image, you may be making it hard for people to find you and you may be putting people off.

People buy from people they know, like and trust. This hasn’t changed. How do I get to know you if you don’t even let me know your name? Great things come from being genuine and authentic. This is essential online if you want to build a brand that people trust and refer to.

So what’s in a name? Your image, your brand, your ability to get people to know, like and trust you. What’s your name? The name you want me to call you? Please use it on your LinkedIn profile.

If you want more information on how to use LinkedIn and get great results, send me a message at alice@aliceheiman.com and I’ll send you some links to key information you will need.


About the Author Alice Heiman

Alice Heiman, the CEOs Sales Coach. According to Forbes.com, she is among the world’s leading experts on the complex sale. She strategizes with sales leadership and provides innovative ideas to grow sales. Originally, from the widely known Miller Heiman Group, Alice and her team incorporate the newest research and best practices to provide sales programs that generate immediate and sustainable results.

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  • Alice, I’m so glad you raised this issue. Some people, when asked, will say, “You can use either name.” When it comes to names, it’s best the named person decide how they want to be addressed.

    A close relative of naming is the person with initials. I’d love to know reasons why people use them, such as A.J. or E.J.

    When women use initials, however, they’ve been accused of trying to disguise their gender, which, historically, they’ve admit to doing because of discrimination and bias — think Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

    Then there’s famous author Mary Ann Evans aka George Elliott, and more recently, writer James Chartrand of Men with Pens (explanation here http://intuit.me/1CXh7tj).

    What’s in a name? Apparently, a lot!

    • Alice Heiman says:

      Yes, Roberta, it appears there is more to a name than meets the eye. It’s a great topic for discussion. My bottomline is, the person gets to decide what they want to be called and then they need to use that name consistently to avoid confusion. After all it is part of your brand and you want people to know it!

  • Hi Alice good points. I would also transfer this thinking to email addresses. Some people are difficult to retrieve simply because of their names.

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