I’m often surprised by the number of people who know my name. I’m not talking about colleagues. I’m referring to people who I might know casually or meet on occasion.
The manager of a local Fort Myers, Florida restaurant is one good example. The minute I step in the door she greets me with a warm smile, sometimes a handshake, but always with the words, “It’s good to see you again Mr. Robertson. Welcome back.”
I have to be honest with you. I think I only introduced myself to her once several years ago. Yet, she approaches me like a long lost friend. And that does something to me that makes me feel good about being there.
In this day and age of high-tech gadgetry – where emails have replaced the personal, handwritten letter – and the art of face to face conversation has been reduced to text messages or a ‘tweet’, it does the heart good to know a simple greeting – that includes an actual name – can change a person’s total disposition.
Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than at a charity fundraising event.
I’ve always encouraged the event chairs I work with and every charity VIP to know who will be coming through their event’s door. This is easily done by simply studying the guest list and then actually greeting the guest as they arrive – by name.
I’ve stood near these greeting lines on occasion and have watched faces turn from “We’re here – what do we do next?” to “What a nice hello – and she knew my name!” Their smiles said it all.
And for lack of a better phase – it made them feel important. This is even more true when the people being greeted by their names bring along friends that are unknown to the charity’s members. This scenario really boosts the ego of those who are known while at the same time makes their guests feel as if they are attending the event with VIP’s themselves.
But don’t forget. Even an unknown guest should be greeted warmly.
The bottom line: Know your guests by their names – and greet them with a warm handshake. This will put them in a positive and happy frame of mind and they’ll be more eager to rattle cash out of their wallets and purses. And of course, that means there will be an increase in the charity’s bankroll.