Responses to the Post on Names


The post below actually was my emailed TelE-Sales Tip of the Week a couple of weeks ago. It certainly struck a chord with lots of people. Thought you might find some of them interesting, and a couple quite amusing!

Hi Art,

I have been a long time fan of the weekly tips and this one really made me want to comment!

Quite simply, you put in words so eloquently the experience of having an unusual name. In a shared experience kind of way it made me laugh.

My surname is not so complicated by comparison, its Bibic. But it should have an accent over the c, which means it is pronounced Bib-itch (naturally many keyboards/ applications don’t have this option). I will pronounce my name and then spell it for people – to this day, I am amazed at how common it is to hear people then tell me that its bib-bick (ala your ‘Don’t rename them’ tip). Bold as brass, they have just told me that I am pronouncing my name incorrectly!

What I find really interesting is that it makes a real positive impact on me when someone listened and gets the pronunciation right. I really want to interact with that person, who through a small action of listening has already warmed me up!

Thanks for the tip (never hurts to be reminded of good manners) and thanks for the laugh.

Trevor Bibic


Art, Good article!!

I have the first name of Richard….but go by the name of Dick…so you know the comments. I have never let it bother me, and most people call me Mr. Beal instead of Dick. I gotta tell ya in sales it gives you some great creditability when people who know you call you MR.!

Like you say the yuk,yuks I don’t worry about

Dick Beals


Art, This one always makes me laugh. My son is the captain of his hockey team. And one of his very good friends is "John Traczewski." It never ceases to amaze me how many PA announcers butcher that name when they do the starting lineup. You can hear them pausing, and say, ‘um, er, John, um, Tray-um-chzhwesssski."

You wonder why they don’t take the time to read the program in advance and try and find out…especially since we often play in the same rinks more than once in a weekend! By the 3rd game you’d think SOMEONE would come ask the kid how to pronounce his name…which is actually fairly easy. They pronounce it "Trah CHESS key."

Tim Nelson
McGraw Hill Construction


Art, I love this Tip on names. I, too, have an unusual last name of Musolf (moose-off) which is rarely pronounced correctly. As such I try to be very sensitive to the correct pronunciation of names and often put the phonetic pronunciation in my sales notes.

The other key point is not to rename people. My name is Michael and I introduce myself as Michael, but often people instantly call me Mike which drives me up the wall (someone won’t be getting a sale doing that).

Lastly thank you for sharing . It will be a very helpful sales tool. (And, yes, I have already added the pronunciation of Musolf.)

Keep up the great work!

Michael Musolf


Art, Yes, I have heard "Pat Breast in a Hand" more than once growing up!

Best Regards,

Pat Bresnahan
Business Development Representative
Genevieve Swiss Industries


What is your experience with names…if you, too, have an unusual one, or if you’ve had any other experience you’d like to share.

Child Category