In an earlier blog entry I talked about using an agenda as a means of covering off all the points needed, including asking for the business! It is also important that the agenda has time for any subjects the client wishes to discuss … obviously taking precedent over the salesperson’s points … and opening the door for a follow up meeting!
Today I want to talk about note taking, because I rarely see salespeople taking notes today, and I don’t understand it! WE work hard to get client meetings so it is imperative that we get the most out of them that we can!
Here are just 10 reasons why salespeople should take notes when meeting with clients.
1. Your memory is not as good as you think, so take note of what one of the world’s smartest men said! Albert Einstein once said, “ … why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in 2 minutes“.
2. Many meetings are filled with facts, names of contacts, names of projects, details of those projects, budget details etc. You will not remember all of that data after the fact!
3. When you can show detailed notes from a client meeting it demonstrates your professionalism to your manager.
4. Later you can use your electronic calendar to identify the date of any meeting you have had (because of course you also use your calendar religiously) and go back to the notebook you used at that time, to tell you what was said at that meeting. This can be useful for a million reasons.
5. Amongst your notes will be tidbits of information that may prove crucial at some future date … contact names, phone numbers, dollar amounts (eg revenue spend of a client), commitments etc.
6. If you have notes written down then you can quickly share them with anyone … scan and email, transcribe into a CRM or even photocopy and drop on someone’s desk!
7. The act of writing things down actually improves memory of the facts … so you remember those facts better when you write them down!
8. Taking notes means that you am not going to forget commitments you make … if you are in a meeting and commit to sending information later it will be highlighted in your notes. If it is only in your memory then there is a chance you might forget.
9. When you are meeting with a client and take notes it demonstrates your seriousness/professionalism to the client.
10. I consider this to be one of the habits I have built that have led to any success I have enjoyed in my career. It is a good habit to cultivate!
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it!” Estee Lauder
Here are 10 TIPS for note taking.
1. Ask the client if they mind you taking notes, it is just another way to demonstrate your thoughtfulness.
2. Your notes should be legible to you … if your handwriting is bad then use capital letters.
3. Leave lots of space in your notes to add commentary later.
4. Keep all of your notes on one topic or meeting together … don’t have it in different places.
5. If you take notes in a sales meeting it is good practice to transcribe the information into quick notes for the CRM.
6 If you use a consistent method of taking notes then you can always find what you need later when wanting to refer back … so use a notebook, a time management system or some such organised method of collecting notes.
7. Always date notes and list who is present (eg. Joe & Ted or Sales Team etc.), a title would be good too … these can be done before the meeting in your best handwriting to make the notes easier to find.
8. Offer to take notes in company meetings and share them … its a good way to develop note taking skills.
9. Always review the notes from your last meetings before going to the next meeting.
10. Work at building good sales habits!
The sales profession offers so much opportunity, but it requires effort and a willingness to learn if you are going to be successful.
“Its the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Coach John Wooden
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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