If you want existing clients to like you as much as possible and even more so prospective clients then use proper names in conversation.  Now there’s PROOF if you need it.  

Most probable reasons you may not be using proper names in conversations:

  • You are not completely certain you remember (or pronounce) the name right so why risk it
  • There is a group and you can’t remember all their names so feel you shouldn’t use any
  • You are afraid of sounding patronizing
  • It’s a discipline you simply have not mastered.

PROOF:  A new study by Dr. Amit Almor of the University of South Carolina used MRI brain scans to show the different responses when a subject hears a proper name or a pronoun referring to a previously named person. 

“The brain lit up with activity when proper names were used, including areas that are not associated with language,” Almor said. “We saw considerable activity in areas of the parietal lobe that involve spatial processing that was absent when pronouns were used.”

Read the full story “Names Disrupt The Brain”.


  • touch parts of their clients brains that others ignore
  • are liked and remembered much much better than their competitors


  • Write the names down (if a group – make a seating chart – at least first names)
  • If hard to pronounce, ask and practice (they will love you for it)
  • Practice using the names (starting right now)

PUNCHLINE:  Perhaps in a perfect world you would simply be appreciated for the skilled genius you are.  I don’t disagree.  However, if competitive advantage is important to you in this imperfect world, put this post into action.  (Thinking about it, alone, will yield nothing.)

WARNING:  My post above may lack veracity according to Stephanie Allen West’s post "Anatomy of a telephone game applied to a neuroscience study" in her "Brains on Purpose" blog – I respect her enough to reference her post here – Stephanie’s admonition is deserving of consideration and reflection.  Thank you, Stephanie.