You must have spoken to a sales person who insisted on inserting your name into every second sentence.  They think it is an added degree of familiarity that brings them closer to you and closer to a sale.  Wouldn’t you want to buy from your best buddy?

Or you must have received a direct mail letter that repeats your name in the body of the letter.

Bad news for them – it doesn’t make you think they are your new BFF.

It is more like BFD.  It reeks of insincerity.  It is one of those transparent techniques that might only have worked for the early adopters, years ago, if then.

Think about it.  Do any of your friends force the use of your name into their comments?  Hardly.  They don’t need to insert it to try to remember who you are.

For example, would we ever hear this: “Hi Mom, it is your son, Mom.  I was calling, Mom, to see how your were.  And let me tell you, Mom, the new F172R model is probably your best value, Mom.”

Does that come close to scanning as a real conversation?  The senseless repetition of the name never happens in real life.

In fact, the forced insertion of the client’s name is off putting — and to me as a prospect, it reminds me that I do NOT have a relationship with the huckster trying to hustle me.

It is a technique left for the most amateur of sales people because it can seem so forced and so unnatural.

The same is true with direct mail letters, electronic or snail.  While programming in the recipient’s name is not that challenging, it should be done with some restraint and sensibility.  Showing that you can slug in the name no longer makes you the recipient’s best buddy.

As an advertising agency, we often receive complimentary subscriptions of magazines, including women’s service books.  Often this includes a copy for our reception area.  One of the funniest direct mail letters we received was addressed to Mrs. Reception Copy, noting that “Dear Reception, you and the entire Copy family may already be eligible…”

So, Bob, take care of how you use the data you have, Bob.  Sometimes, Bob, when you overuse your information, the result is counter productive.

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