I was recently role playing with a fairly young salesperson.  He had previously been a salesperson at a large organization that engaged outside sales trainers.  He used my first name six times in about a three minute conversation.  So I asked him about it.  He had learned this skill in his previous job, and was told that he had to use the prospects name at least 3 times in a voicemail message.  I know this is a common tactic taught by sales trainers, and I am sure that there is some basis in psychology in that we like to hear our own name, but I have to say it is a silly sales tactic that screams “salesperson” all over the place.  The effect will have the reverse of the desired.  The prospect will be “on guard” because they know the salesperson is using a tactic.  It is not normal to use someone’s name six times in three minutes.  Therefore, the prospect’s antenna goes up.  People feel more comfortable if a salesperson speaks with them like a normal person.

Sales managers, please help your salespeople erase those silly tactics and tricks, and encourage your team to talk to prospects like real people.  That is how they will build trust and increase the likelihood that the prospect will actually listen and more importantly open up, as opposed to clamming up because they know a tactic got pulled on them.