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People wear nametags more often than you think. The majority of retail establishments, stores and other social gatherings require nametags for several purposes. Sometimes it's for security. Other nametags are solely for identification. But simply stated; people wear nametags for one reason: so other people can use their names for friendlier, more personable service and conversation.
However, too many nametags go unnoticed. Too many people (especially employees) offer their names only to be referred to as, "Sir" or "Miss" or "Young Man."
Guess what? They don't wear nametags to make a fashion statement. They wear them for you! The following list gives five of the most common employees or people who wear nametags, and ways you can "wow" them if you identify and amplify their names:
Cashiers/Clerks The employees who work behind the counter get bored with the repetition and monotony of their jobs on a daily basis. They also receive a fraction of the respect and courtesy they deserve proportionate to the work they do. But, they all wear nametags. Even if they don't like their nametags, they wear them for a reason: so people will use their names. Because you probably go to some kind of store every day, try to say, "Good morning Sarah," or "Thanks Devin." Just try it. Say their names. You will be amazed how the smile on their faces indicates warmth and appreciation.
Food Servers "Pssst! I need some ketchup for my fries!" says the customer. Anyone who's ever worked in food service knows this demeaning "hey you" feeling. So, when you sit down at your table, immediately look at the nametag of your server. Memorize it. Say it over and over in your head. And the next time you need something say, "Excuse me Jackie, may I have some ketchup?" Jackie will be happy to bring it over to you. And she will be even happier when you get your ketchup and say, "Thanks, Jackie."
Networking Meetings Everyone at networking meetings will wear nametags so introduction processes are expedited. Especially in situations where you will often meet dozens of people, take advantage of as much free information as possible and use those nametags! "How long have you worked at Monsanto, Rick?" Once the offering of names is reciprocated in a conversation, the atmosphere will become more comfortable and therefore more accessible to qualify important contacts.
Casinos The best blackjack dealers I have ever sat with have been the friendly ones. It didn't even matter if I won, as long as I liked the dealer. OK, it did matter if I won, but it hurt a lot less if I said, "Hey Glenn, thanks for taking all of my money." You will find that casino employees usually have at least two nametags, sometimes even three on their uniforms. You can't miss them! So use their nametags in both good and bad times: "Looks like you busted Sammy!" "Hit me Ellen!" "Marvin, I can't believe you just got blackjack again!" Try this, and I promise that your casino experience will be more fun and a lot more personable.
Worship Members Most churches/synagogues use nametags during services and worship times to promote a friendlier atmosphere. Specifically for new members, take the time to say, "Welcome Patrick," "Nice to see you again Mrs. Watson," and "Merry Christmas Terry." Of all places where nametags are worn, religious groups are the most vital to instill a sense of community and hospitality. And you never know if someone will come back next week simply because you said, "Thanks for visiting us Steve, you're welcome to come back to worship with us any time!"
REMEMBER: A person's name is the sweetest sound they will hear in any language. When you use their names, you will make them feel appreciated, welcome and important. Maybe it's printed on a plastic clip. Maybe it's written on a paper nametag. Even if it hangs from a lanyard, stares you in the face, look at it, and SAY IT! Step onto their front porch, and WOW them!
© 2005 All Rights Reserved.
Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, "The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their approachability and become UNFORGETTABLE communicators - one conversation at a time. For more information contact Front Porch Productions at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com.