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Never Say “Use My Name.”


Robby

Long before we had computers and smartphones and email addresses, the world has passwords. These were secret phrases designed to give access to private areas. Literally, password is a word you can use that gives you a pass to go somewhere.

Lots of things can be passwords. But your name isn’t one of them

You’ve probably heard a variation of this conversation before:

Yes, it’s a fantastic restaurant. I know the chef. Tell them I sent you and they will give you a deal.

Chef
© Flickr User Founding Farmers

That promise does have some appeal. “Use my name” feels like you’ve been given some power. By mentioning a mutual contact, you’ll get something special. In that sense their name is like a password.

But turn it around. How would you feel if a stranger showed up at your home or business and said “so-and-so sent me?” I’m betting the answer is a gigantic “it depends.”

Why You Know This is Wrong: Name-dropping

We’ve all had the experience where someone mentions the names of other people to try and impress us. They talk about their friends who are successful or famous or important. As one piece says:

Name dropping is absolutely terrible for our credibility. When we name-drop, no matter how smoothly we try to insert another person’s name in the conversation, the listener almost always sees through the act. Interjecting another person’s name is distracting, and it also leaves the listener questioning why you’re so hesitant to just talk about yourself.

If you tell someone else to use your name, you are asking them to be a name-dropper.

Don’t do it.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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