8 Ways to Make Your Telephone Personality More Attractive

1. May I ask who’s calling?
a. Is it unique?
b. Is it unexpected?
c. Does it build pre-call excitement and curiosity?
d. Does it make the entire office laugh when they hear it over the PA system?

2. Greeting/Answer
a. Is it short?
b. Is it simple?
c. Is it engaging?
d. Is it memorable?

3. Note Taking
a. Are letting callers know you’re taking notes?
b. Are you reading back from your notes to demonstrate listening?
c. Are you emailing the other person a summary of your notes after the conversation is over?

4. Questions
a. Are they unexpected?
b. Are they open-ended?
c. Are they thought provoking?
d. Are they the same questions every other person asks?
e. Do you have a running list of your best questions for each situation?

5. Growing Bigger Ears
a. Are you listening twice as much as you talk?
b. Are you only interrupting for clarification or elaboration?
c. Are you pausing after questions and answers to make space?
d. Are you being emotional objective, non-judgmental and calm?

6. Before We Go
a. Did you cover everything?
b. Did you set the next appointment?
c. Did you ask if there were any other questions?
d. Did you give the other person a Call to Action?
e. Did you make sure you accomplished the objective of your call?

7. Exit Line
a. Is it memorable?
b. Is it brand consistent?
c. Is it boring and expected?
d. Does it reinforce your value?
e. Does it leave a lasting impression?

8. Voicemail
a. Is it fun.
b.Is it short?
c. Is it engaging?
d. Does it deliver value?
e. Does it encourage callers to share?
f. Is it just like every other voicemail you’ve ever heard?

What makes your telephone personality attractive?

For a list called “20 Ways to Make Customers Feel Comfortable,” send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll share the secrets!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Satisfaction not enough?
Customers not telling their friends about you?
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NametagTV: Overly Approachable Service

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Which company do you think “over does it” when it comes to service?

Share your examples here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Afraid to bend the rules a little?

Tune in to NametagTV.com for an interactive learning experience!

Stick yourself out there!

10 Ways to Reverse the Momentum of an Overly Aggressive or Hostile Person

FACT: You will encounter challenging people.

They might come in the form of strangers.
They might come in the form of customers.
They might EVEN come in the form of colleagues or friends!

They will try to overpower you.
They will try to intimidate you.
They will try to get a rise out of you.

They will make blunt or rude comments.
They will ask pointed or threatening questions.
They will attempt to activate your defensiveness.

And you will have a choice.

To either REACT:

By getting upset, overly emotional or defensive.

Which is exactly what they want.

Because deep down, they know that’s the only way they can beat you.


By reversing their momentum.

Which is the exact opposite of what they’re expecting.

Because deep down, they know that if you refuse to take ownership of their emotions, they’re toast.

Kind of like the playground bully, whose ONLY power comes from other kids’ fear of him.

So, next time you face a challenging person, remember:

The key is to relax.
The key is to lower the temperature of the situation.
The key is to remain emotionally unreactive, yet still invested in the conversation.

IN SHORT: If you want to reverse someone’s momentum, it’s all about patience and language.

Today we’re going to explore a list of 10 Phrases That Payses to positively change the dynamic of a conversation with an overly aggressive or hostile person:

1. You’re right. This phrase allows you to enter into another person’s reality. It shows an open mindedness to different opinions and redirects the conversation into a productive direction.

It also acknowledges someone else’s unique point of view. Ultimately, these four results are empathetic and help diffuse emotionally charged individuals.

2. You may be right. Similar to the above example, this phrase diffuses the energy behind someone’s attack AND avoids threatening the attacker. And by giving an impression of active agreement, not passive acquiescence, it avoids adding fuel to the fire.

What’s more, “You may be right” validates a particular part of someone’s argument. Which doesn’t mean you TOTALLY agree with her. But, it does make it easier for the other person to hear your side of the story by way of reciprocation.

3. I agree with you. Similarly, this phrase “agrees with thy adversary quickly,” as the old scripture suggests. It builds common ground on a point of mutual agreement and aligns you with the other person. That way, you’re both on the same side.

Which is how resistance dissipates. Which makes moving toward a solution flow a LOT smoother.

4. Why is that so important to you? This gem is especially effective when someone shoots down EVERY idea you suggest. It identifies a person’s motives and challenges them to honesty examine their emotions, which, if they’ve lashed out at you, probably isn’t something they’ve done yet.

5. Why do you want to know so badly? Similarly, this phrase helps uncover the motivations of someone who seems bit too persistent. Maybe even bordering on pushy.

For example, if a person you’ve just met asks you LOTS of probing questions on the same topic, or constantly asks you the same question over and over again, maybe it’s time to step back and ask why.

6. You must be having a really bad day. Unexpected and empathetic. Demonstrates concern, especially with an irate customer. Also, this phrase assures that you don’t take ownership of the other person’s problem. This ultimately allows them to cool off and approach their situation in a calm, collected manner.

7. I forgive you. When someone is flustered, running late or apologizing profusely, using these three words is almost like a magic tonic. Especially when it’s with a stranger.

See, the peaceful, tender and caring energy of “I forgive you” is incredibly powerful. And observing the way people respond when you say, “I forgive you” is a GREAT mini-lesson in momentum reversal.

8. Thank you. When someone brings a problem or complaint to your attention, make sure the first words out of your mouth are “Thank you,” and not “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry” is negative and self-blaming, and people say it WAY too often. Especially when they’ve done nothing wrong. Now, responding by thanking someone doesn’t mean you’re evading responsibility. If an apology is in order, say it. Just don’t LEAD with it. Instead, after you’ve thanked (aka, honored) the upset person, only THEN say, “I apologize,” or “I’m sorry. You deserve better.”

9. I respect your opinion of my work. My all-time favorite. Perfect for artists and creative professionals. See, if everybody loves your brand, you’re doing something wrong! Likewise, if everybody loves your idea, it’s probably not that good of an idea. So, next time someone expresses a dislike for your work – especially in an attempt to fluster, insult or embarrass you – do three things.

First, pause.
Second, breathe and smile.
Third, tell the person, “I respect your opinion of my work.”

Take it from someone whose work has been made fun of A LOT. I can (almost) guarantee you people will NEVER see THAT one coming! And as a result, you’ll not only leave them with nowhere to go; but you’ll project an attitude of open mindedness and acceptance. Jerks.

10. Silence. Lastly, sometimes the best way to reverse the momentum of an overly aggressive or hostile person is to say nothing at all. To just shut up and let them vent. See, in many cases, that’s all they WANTED: someone to listen to them. To honor them. Or, in some cases, that’s all they NEEDED: someone to serve as a sounding board so they could hear how absurd their words actually were!

In either case, not responding (at all) to someone’s aggression lowers the temperature of the conversation and allows that person to compose himself.

NOTE: Silence is an extremely challenging approach for both parties. See, we live in a hyperspeed; A.D.D. culture where time is money and “the meter is running.” That’s one reason people are so afraid of silence. At the same time, however, that’s ALSO why silence can be so powerful.

– – –

Whichever of the Phrases That Payses you choose to use, remember your mantra: Respond; don’t react.

Combine that foundation with an attitude of patience and calmness, and you’ll be able to reverse the momentum of an overly aggressive or hostile person!

Of course, that’s only (my) short list. What about YOU?

What Phrases That Payses work when you’re trying to reverse the momentum of someone?

Share your examples here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

How are you branding YOUR service?

Tune in to The Frontline on NametagTV.com.

Watch video lessons delivering memorable unforgettable service!

7 Ways to Overcommunicate Anything

On a number of occasions, I’ve either heard or read the following statement:

“You can’t over communicate.”

And I’m not sure I agree with that.

Here are my reasons:

You can talk too much.
Which means you’re not listening that much.

You can listen too actively.
Which comes off as annoying and fake.

You can ask too many questions.
Which turns you into an interrogator.

You can be around too much.
Which might give someone the impression that you’re spying on her.

You can violate someone’s boundaries.
Which makes them feel uncomfortable.

You can use someone’s name too often.
Which appears unnecessary, forced and inauthentic.

You can check up on people too much.
Which demonstrates a lack of trust and unwillingness to relieve ownership.

What do YOU think?

Is it possible to overcommunicate?

If so, post your examples here! If not, share with us anyway!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

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Be SO good that customers can’t even tell

Walk into any Lush store around the world, and most customers will have the same response:

“These guys are SO good, their soaps don’t even look like soap!”

When was the last time YOU took a picture of SOAP?

Probably never.

But the people at Lush are just THAT good.

Tune in to The Ace of Cakes on Food Network (Staring culinary arr-teest Duff Goldman), and most viewers will share the same thought:

“That dude his SO good, his cakes don’t even look like cakes!

When was the last time YOU took a picture of a CAKE?

Unless it was a wedding, probably never.

But Charm City Cakes are just THAT good.

LESSON LEARNED: As Michael Cane said, “The art is hiding the art.”

That’s great advice.

And I think you can apply this principle to a variety of situations:

CREATE marketing that’s SO fun, SO cool and SO participative…
That your fans don’t even realize you’re marketing to them.

SELL your stuff with SUCH passion, SUCH comfort and SUCH service…
That your prospects don’t even realize you’re selling to them.

PERFORM sp effortlessly, SO naturally and SO emotionally…
That your audience doesn’t even realize you’re performing for them.

WRITE so engagingly, SO well-architected and with SO much personality…
That your readers don’t even realize they’re reading.

BUILD community that’s SO organic, SO authentic and SO inviting…
That your members don’t even realize they’re members of an organization.

NOTE: This doesn’t mean tricking, duping or manipulating people.

It just means being really, really good and doing what you do.

That’s what being That Guy is all about.

So good that people get lost in your brilliance and don’t even realize you’re doing what you do.

Never let ‘em catch you acting.

Who do YOU know that’s so good at doing what they do, people can’t even tell?

Share your best example here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

How are YOU making the mundane memorable?

Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com for video lessons on creating and keeping satisfied insistent customers!

Approachable Service: As long as I’m here

Companies who GET talked about GET business.

That’s why you need to differentiate with remarkable service.

See, in a market with infinite choices, the only thing that stands out in customers’ minds … is something cool.

Something unexpected.

Something worth talking about.

Because (unfortunately) … nobody notices normal.

SO, HERE’S THE KEY: seek to create insistent – not just satisfied or loyal – customers for life.

One suggestion is to add value to an otherwise mundane and commoditized service you already provide.

I suggest trying the “As long as I’m here…” technique.

PICTURE THIS: you own a tech support business.

One day, a new customer calls with a virus problem.

Naturally, you send your on-site technician to her office.

He fixes the glitch, the customer gladly signs the bill and everybody is satisfied.

Satisfied. Not loyal. Not insistent. Satisfied.


Right before your technician leaves the customer’s office, he says, “Hey, as long as I’m here, I’d be happy to clean all the monitors and keyboards in your office … no extra charge! It’ll only take a few minutes.”

“Really? Wow, that would be great!” the customer says. “Our hardware could use a good cleaning!”

And all of the sudden, an otherwise mundane task like tech support transforms into a value-added experience that customers start talking about.

Think about it. When was the last time you came home from work and said:

“Honey, get the kids! You won’t believe what happened at work today! The tech support guy came by the office fixed that virus problem we were having!”

Your family would think you were nuts.

Now, on the other hand, if the technician fixed the problem, then REALLY DID clean all the monitors and keyboards in your office, you probably WOULD tell people about it.

Because nobody does stuff like that.

AND THAT’S THE SECRET: because when it comes to approachable service…

The stuff nobody does … is the stuff your customer LOVES.

And even at the lowest common denominator, the “As long as I’m here” technique should be implemented solely because nobody else does it! That’s reason enough.

Try a new one every week! See how customers respond.

Odds are, your front line will discover that when you build value-added remarkability into the service experience, three things happen:

1. You get noticed.
2. You get remembered.
3. And eventually, you start to get more business.

But only when you stick yourself out there.

Are making the mundane memorable?

Make a list of five mundane, on-site customer services your company provides. Then, spend some time with your team brainstorming different ways your technicians could finish the sentence, “As long as I’m here…”

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
Rent Scott’s Brain!
Download articles and ebooks!
Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here…

Approachable Service: When Google Doesn’t Matter

My kitchen sink clogged up the other day.

No problem, I thought. I’ll just call a local plumber to help me out.

Hopped onto Google.

Typed in St. Louis Plumbers.

And I was presented with several excellent options.

The first hit was a plumbing company located a few miles from my house.

Naturally, I called them first.

And nobody picked up.

So I tried the next hit on Google. Also close to my house.

And nobody picked up.

Then I scrolled over to the sponsored links. I clicked on a promising looking website description, got their phone number, called, got a voicemail, pressed extension #2 for “Bruce…”

And nobody picked up.

“Damn it! This is ridiculous!” I exclaimed.

“Screw it –- I’m calling Roto-Rooter.”

I took a wild guess and typed in www.roto-rooter.com.


I called their customer service hotline. An agent picked up the call on the second ring.

Woo hoo!

“I’m sorry to hear about your kitchen, sir. We’ll take care of you!” she promised.

Heck yeah!

After I gave her some basic information, she replied, “We can have someone at your home within the hour.”


“Absolutely sir! Let me check our schedule…”

Sure enough, the plumber was over right away. He took care of my clog, told me how to prevent it in the future and even gave me a free sample of Drano.

LESSON LEARNED: it doesn’t matter how great your service is if nobody can get a hold of you to find out how great it is.

Because any number multiplied by zero is still zero.

Sure, quality is vital, but accessibility comes first. Without it, you may as well be winking in the dark.

Because if you’re not A-vailable, customers are going to find A-nother company to hire.

If nobody’s there to answer your customer’s phone calls, does your Google ranking even matter?

Share your best “when Google doesn’t matter story” here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
Rent Scott’s Brain!
Download articles and ebooks!
Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here…

Ball in Their Court Questioning

PICTURE THIS: you’re chatting with someone you just met.

During a conversational lull, you ask the default question, “So Mike, what do YOU do?”

And all of the sudden, his posture weakens. His eyes avert. And his smile fades.

“Actually, um, I’ve been out of work for the past 8 months, so…”


Well, good thing I brought THAT up! you think.

A few minutes later on your way to the hardware store to purchase a crowbar to pry your foot out of your mouth, something occurs to you.

You made assumptions.

That Mike had a job.
That Mike was defined by his work.
That Mike had a career he enjoyed talking about.

None of which were true.

And as a result, your connection was botched.

SO, THAT’S THE CHALLENGE: avoiding assumptive language.

Being curious, not judgmental.

And your job as an approachable communicator is to ask questions that are specific, yet STILL give someone permission to direct the conversation in manner that makes him most comfortable.

Because your NUMBER ONE GOAL in every conversation is to make the other person feel comfortable as soon as possible.

An effective tool you can use is called Ball in Their Court Questioning.

For example:

Instead of saying, “What do you do?”
You could say, “What keeps you busy all week?”

Instead of saying, “What’s your job there?”
You could say, “What’s your role there?”

Instead of saying, “Did you get hired yet?”
You could say, “What kind of progress have you been making on the job hunt?”

Instead of saying, “Are you actually making a living at this?”
You could say, “How are you moving forward towards your goals?

Ball in Their Court Questioning. (BTCQ, for short.)

And BTCQ is more than just asking open-ended questions.

For someone to engage comfortably with you about topics important to them.

From you looking like an idiot, and from the other person feeling embarrassed.

Framing your conversation with a positive, goal-oriented tone.

And ultimately, when you make these minor changes in your verbiage, you create MAJOR results in your conversations.

So, next time you meet someone new; transform assumptive language into approachable language.

And you’ll never need to use that crowbar again.

How long have you been working in the People Business?

Share your additional thoughts on the nature of this “industry.”

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
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Even when you say no, you’re still marketing

PICTURE THIS: you get an email out the blue from a prospect.

But not just ANY prospect … the perfect customer.

Exactly the type of client you want to work with.

The good news is; they want to hire you!
The bad news is; you’re booked solid.

Looks like you’re going to have to turn down their business.

What do you do?

Well, first of all, saying no isn’t really BAD news. After all, it means…

You’re in demand.
You’re staying busy.
You’re attracting the right type of clients.

That’s a great place for any company to be!

BUT HERE’S THE CHALLENGE: how do you say no to new business … while STILL marketing?

Take a lesson from Progressive Insurance.

In 1994, Progressive became the first auto insurance company to provide its rates alongside the rates of other companies.

That way, consumers could easily compare and decide … even if they didn’t use Progressive!

I remember when their commercials first came out. EVERYBODY was talking about them.

“So, Progressive will give you the insurance rates of their competitors? That’s so cool!”

Cool, indeed.

Not what you’d expect from an insurance company, right?

Exactly. Which is precisely why that sentence became their widely recognized tagline.

Also, I snooped around online and found this great excerpt from their annual report:

“Fast. Fair. Better. That’s what you can expect from Progressive. Everything we do recognizes the needs of busy consumers who are cost-conscious, increasingly savvy about insurance and ready for easy, new ways to quote, buy and manage their policies, including claims service that respects their time and reduces the trauma and inconvenience of loss.”


Progressive LOVES and RESPECTS their customers SO MUCH, they’ll do whatever it takes to make them happy.

Even if it means forfeiting new business!

See, Progressive found a way to say no to its potential customers … while STILL maintaining (and reinforcing) brand integrity.

That’s the way the game of marketing should be played.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you just HAVE to turn new business away, remember this:

Don’t just say no and then hang up!

“Well, we’re sorry sir. Can’t help ya out today. But, we wish you good luck fishing that dead raccoon out of your chimney. Bye!”

If you were that customer, how would YOU feel?

INSTEAD, TRY THIS: create a policy, procedure or protocol for saying no. Have options or a decision tree on-hand. Find a way to STILL serve the customer, even if he’s not your customer. Position yourself as a resource, and they’ll come back next time!

THEN, TRY THIS: consider your network of colleagues to whom you’d gladly refer client overflow. Whoever you think would be a good fit, send them a heads-up email or phone call first. Then offer their name to your prospect. Finally, follow up about a week later to see if it worked out. It’s good karma.

ULTIMATELY, REMEMBER THIS: when you forfeit new business to vouch for a colleague’s credibility, your credibility will increase as well. Clients will respect your discretion, honesty and generosity. And those characteristics will stay in their mind for the next time they (or someone else) needs you.

Because, as I learned from Seth Godin, even when you say no, you’re still marketing.

Do you build marketing in your no’s?

Share an example of how saying NO at one point … enabled a customer say YES at a future point.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
Rent Scott’s Brain!
Download articles and ebooks!
Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here…

Approachable Service: The First Impression Fizzle

Are first impressions the most critical part of Approachable Service?


YES, it’s true that first impressions are usually correct.

YES, it’s true that first impressions are based on instinct and emotion.

YES, it’s true that first impressions your customers form about you are likely to stay in their minds forever.

YES, it’s true that humans put pressure on themselves to behave consistently with their own existing commitments.

YES, the information people see or learn about you is more powerful than what is learned later.


If you google “first impressions,” 1,930,000 pages come up.
If you google “ongoing impressions,” 317 pages come up.
If you google “lasting impressions,” 630,000 pages come up.

LESSON LEARNED: don’t solely focus your service efforts on MAKING first impressions, but also, on MAINTAINING those impressions.

CAUTION: if the first few seconds are all that matters, your front line may fall victim to The First Impression Fizzle.

EXAMPLE 1: have you ever walked into a store or hotel that made a GREAT first impression in the lobby … and then, sort of gave up after that?

EXAMPLE 2: have you ever attended a club, association meeting or church service whose greeters extended a warm welcome when you walked in the door … and then never talked to you again?

EXAMPLE 3: have you ever eaten dinner at a restaurant in which your server was friendly, helpful and warm … and then, once the food came, sort of forgot about your table for the rest of the night?

That’s The First Impression Fizzle.

And if you want avoid it, remember these ABC’s…

1. ATTITUDE. Don’t (just) focus on the first. Remember, “The Touchpoint Trinity” includes your FIRST, ONGOING and LASTING impressions. None are more important than the others.

2. BRAINSTORM. List all the possible Daily Touchpoints within each category of your Touchpoint Trinity. Examples might include “greeting,” “order taking” and “handling complaints.” Then, for each of the components, think of two new ways to make the mundane memorable. Remember to keep your approaches positive, friendly, fun, unexpected, and most importantly, unique.

3. CATCH. People doing it right, that is. Any time you see one of your front line employees reinforcing the customer’s first impression throughout the ENTIRE service process, reward them. Consider making Touchpoint Trinity stickers, stars or slips. Hand them out throughout the day. At the end of the week, reward whichever employee has the most.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: practice these keys with consistency.

Because consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.

When was the last time you experienced The First Impression Fizzle?

Tell us what they could have done to prevent it.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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