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That'll Be Woshisname

1 September 2023

FINANCIAL PLANNERS, are you good at remembering people’s names?

Oh, and by ‘people’, I mean ‘clients’.

If you bumped into a client in Tesco today, would you be able to greet them by name?

Or would you try and keep the stunted conversation going in the vague hope that your fumbling mind would somehow alight upon their name before the conversation puts you in a position where it is crushingly obvious to all that you can’t remember their name?

People buy people, and they buy how they make them feel.

And the best way to help someone feel meaningful, important, and comforted is to use their name.

And likewise, the best way to alienate someone and make them feel small and unimportant is to forget their name.

So, for a FINANCIAL PLANNER to say, ‘I’m not good with names’ is a bit like saying, ‘I’m not good with money’.

It’s not a good look.

In fact, it’s an excuse.

What we’re really saying is that I couldn’t be arsed to find the time to teach myself a skill to be able to remember your name.

But I managed to find the time to learn how top-slicing relief applies to investment bonds.

And so to hide my professional tardiness, I’m going to try and convince myself and anyone who will listen that I have some inbuilt permanent mental deficiency that forever prevents me from remembering names.

Which is not true.

Remembering names is a learned skill like anything else.

You just need to put the work in to learn them.

You know. Like you put the work in on all those pension and investment exams that you thought were important.

Even though your client won’t ever remember anything technical that you tell them for more than a day.

But they’ll definitely remember that you called them John when their name is Dave.

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