One of our previous articles talked about the importance of your name and how it is EVERYTHING! So our next question is – Are we doing ourselves a disservice by using nametags? Don’t get me wrong; I love a good name tag and we sell lots of them every year, but this blog is meant to make us think about why. Not to go along with the norm.
Nametags are great. For those of us that don’t have the sweet ones, we make the process goes something like this. Imagine if you will, you show up at a networking event. There is a pack of stickers that say “Hello my name is” and there is a black sharpie there waiting for us to put our name on the sticker. You fall into line (because that is what we are supposed to do), you grab the sharpie and put your name on the sticker, peel it off and put it on your chest. You then spend the rest of the night making sure the damn thing is still there because you want to make sure people know who you are. Perhaps you are the one who writes their name upside down (great conversation starter), or places the sticker on a different part of their body (acheemmmm) – another great conversation start or perhaps you are that person scanning the room looking at all the names of people that you aren’t going to meet because you are too afraid or too shy to approach someone. Someone finally approaches you and you end up hanging out with them for a little while and then head home. What has this really accomplished?
Sorry for the rant, but it’s totally true and many of you (not all of you) can relate to this situation. My challenge for the day is for you to think about this same event but there are no nametags whatsoever. What happens next? From what we have seen (because we tried this), people actually start talking to each other and introducing themselves. At the networking group I started with a couple of colleagues we even made a rule that you can’t lead with who you work for. It’s just your name. Finding out someone’s name (their brand, their everything), is the ice breaker. What comes next is up to you. Do you want to find out where they work? What they do for fun? What they think of the guy across the room that spilled on his white shirt? Figure out how you want to form your connection and make a relationship.
Many of us have been to tradeshows. Wouldn’t it be nice if people spoke to and approached us like people? Not because the badge around our neck says our name and who we work for? It would be totally different. It would be meaningful, and it would add value. Much like many of the products we sell both on our site and through our sales team.
Tell us what you think of name tags. Are they going the way of the dinosaur or are they more relevant than ever?