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User Stories
August 28, 2021

User Stories: pronouncing names right to get past the gatekeepers.

Saif Cheval
Saif Cheval
Marketing Lead
min read

In this user study, our latest series of blog posts, we’ll be diving into how some of our awesome users are pronouncing names correctly at work.

James* has known for a while that pronouncing a name right is critical to surviving a cold call.

This much was made clear by an early mentor of his, who suggested calling a client’s colleague or secretary to confirm a pronunciation.

Whether you’re calling a gatekeeper or a prospect themselves, pronouncing their name correctly is a quick and easy way to inspire familiarity, confidence, and trust in a stranger.

And that’s something James is trying to do on the daily.

Who is James?

James is a business development executive at a UK-based company that provides services to the real estate industry. As a company, they are focused on core values of respect, inclusion and working towards a better future through their social and environmental impact.

James is tasked with reaching out to real estate agents to become advocates for the company’s products – a job which requires forging a strong relationship with these champions.

In the last 10 years, yearly immigration numbers for the UK have remained around the quarter-million mark. For someone like James, that means at least 10% of his calls will have a name that he hasn’t seen before.

The phone, where pronouncing names right is essential

Reaching out cold

When reaching out to people you haven’t spoken to before, things can get awkward. According to James, taking time to prepare for unfamiliar names can “give me a sort of confidence, knowing that I’ve actually pronounced it correctly and got things off on the right foot.”

People can be less receptive to mispronounced names as well. “Reaching out to someone, and acting someone familiar by reaching out, and then mispronouncing their name just makes the whole thing seem a little more phoney than it is.”

When the default response can border on hostile – after all, most people are hesitant to take unexpected phone calls – setting the wrong tone from the drop can make deals more difficult to close.

Finding the tools

Pronouncing names right makes sense in itself, but how did James end up using NameShouts?

After several roundtable discussions at their office desks, James and his team were looking for a solution. When you’re making forty calls a day, you really can’t afford to send your confidence into remission with a damagingly awkward call.

After using a combination of old techniques and Google searches, James came across NameShouts. According to him, the mix of straightforward design and accurate pronunciations made it a solid tool for the jobs he needed to do.

With most of his tech stack on Hubspot, James is looking for a way to bridge the gap between his workflow and NameShouts. That’s why we’ll be rolling out a full-fledged extension for the platform -- plus, we can already offer some support for Hubspot through our Chrome Extension.

Pronouncing names right

When you’re cold-calling, it’s all about the numbers. You need to book that meeting, and build a lasting relationship with a client. James uses NameShouts to take that first step, but also passes along what he learns down the line.

When up to one in ten people has a name you haven’t heard before, it helps to have a tool ready to get you up to speed. NameShouts is here to get you those meetings, helping you get to know your customers by pronouncing names.

NameShouts is free to use at www.nameshouts.com. If you are also looking to integrate NameShouts into your HubSpot stack, (link)you can sign up for the upcoming beta here(/link).

*James is a pseudonym, as he asked to remain anonymous for this user story.

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