Do You Have A Nickname?

Another piece of clickbait, and I learn about how nicknames from firstnames are formed.

It was a short clip before I realised this provides Sales insight in at least two ways.

Whether you have a nickname and whether your prospect also has one.

I suspect the first organisation nickname most English boys and girls hear of is that of their, or close relative's, football club. Beyond that, there's the exposure to 'old people's' news. Tories being one such label. Then there's the shortenings your teen crews give to favourite shops, brands and gathering spots.

When I stepped into the world of business, one of the first I can remember was Big Blue. This applied to IBM. The behemoth of the emerging computer sector.

Their logo was blue, and as a company they were big. Well, actually huge, but that's not as alliteratively rhythmic.

The thing about nicknames, is that the person or entity to which they refer seldom, if ever, get to choose it for themselves. It is applied by others.

They can be quite revealing.

We likely can picture an acquaintance for whom the reason behind their nickname is bafflingly abstract.

Sticking out from the sea of first or stressed syllable shortenings. With perhaps added 'y', 'o' or 's' suffix.

During my initial solution training way back in the day, I still recall an intro to an important client. As I was merrily munching on the biscuits put out for him.

"Hi, I'm Andrew."
"Hi, Andy."
"It's Andrew."

So frosty an exchange, that its stern schooling never left me.

Nicknames tend to be deployed in a non-neutral fashion. When sliding towards the poles of affection or animus.

Clearly those that converge around the latter are unwelcome. Unfertile ground for association.

You, your product or your company may have a nickname you've created yourselves. This kind of fits sportsteams marketing. In which case, you probably cite it with prospects as a way of gauging buy-in.

What about your prospect?

If they have a nickname, principally one of which they exhibit a degree of pride, then you might have something to work with. Adopting it to show kinship. Building on the trait themes it triggers.

If they don't, what do they think it could be? Get engagement with that and you could be on to a fruitful bonding. So long as sought professionally.

There is perhaps a third scenario worth contemplating. One on which I've blogged plenty down the years. And that's around the name given to the project by your prospect around the aim driven by your wares.

For those you encounter disinclined to spend money with you or on the issue you represent, they may consider a nickname for the proposed expenditure infantile, demeaning or generally inappropriate. So caution is required.

Any time you get to help shape the name - nickname or formal one - for a project, it is way more likely that the buyer will enlist your help in making it happen.

Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.