I Can’t Remember Names

By Carlos Valenzuela | 04/15/2014 11:54:00 PM

 

Forgetting a name is so embarrassing in the salon--that awkward moment when you need to resort to, “Hello, beautiful, or Hey, buddy.” I’ve always had a hard time remembering names. Co-workers would send unknown people to effusively greet me just to watch me squirm.

 Is the best course of action to come clean? “I am so sorry, I totally remember you, our conversation, and even your color formula, but, for the life of me, I can’t remember your first name.” (when you can’t see their client file) Or, is it best to just deploy your best fake it till you make it arsenal?

click image to zoomCarlos Valenzuela

 I can’t even work the tips, which I copiously wrote, given to me by a well-meaning expert. So, in case you suffer from Name Remembering Syndrome like I do, here are the rules for your enjoyment:

 1. Try to really listen to the name, repeat it several times—except in most cases I meet people in groups, like a salon, and with the wonderful diversity we now enjoy, it goes something like, “This is Ashley, Lawana, Dewayne, Chong, Roberto, Cassandra, and Kiki our receptionist.” Who could possibly? It’s like a tongue twister. It’s not like repeating, “There’s no place like home.” Scratch that one.

 2. Use the name in conversation This one is too scary, --I am sure to have it wrong. A salon client once said to me, “You have been calling me Doris for the last two visits, my name is Magdalene, and people call me Mary.” She was such a Doris, really. “I’m so sorry. I think I would have totally remembered Magdalene, why didn’t you say something?”

“I really liked Doris.”

 3. Visualize the name: This one is a lot of work. Holly would be a Christmas memory, I suppose. Barry, wait for it, would be the red things on the Holly. Autumn you could picture a winter fireplace, not to be confused with neither Holly who was the Christmas memory, nor Barry the red things on the Holly. That would work?

 4. Memory knot: Be so careful with this one, make sure it is a positive (never bad) “knot” you remember—maybe, Sandy (like the beach) never Dusty (like my furniture) and so on. A CEO of a major beauty company tied a memory knot of my last name with Latin America. He would forget which country, and at times I was, Mr. Venezuela, Mr. Chiles and once Mr. Colombia.

 5. Sing it or Say it to Music. I won’t even go there.

 Social security lists online the most popular names per year. Perhaps one could remember those by year and upon forgetting a name take a shot, “Jeffrey? No, Aidan? Surely, Sam?”

 I am comforted by the thought that we don’t remember people for what they said, but for how they made us feel. I cannot imagine any salon professional making a client or new friend feel anything but fabulous.

 So, don’t worry about the name game...

Modern Salon...right?

 

Carlos Valenzuela: is a consultant, speaker, stylist, bilingual trainer, and author of i-Fabulous Salon Success, a success guide for new salon professionals.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carlos Valenzuela

Carlos Valenzuela: a consultant, speaker, stylist, bilingual trainer, and author of i-Fabulous Salon Success, a success guide for new salon professionals.

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Follow me: twitter: @ifabskills

 


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