One of the big plagues for sellers is taking notes or updating accounts in their CRM (Customer Relations Management). Many of us love to visit with clients and prospects to learn their challenges, but when it comes to taking notes or writing a recap of what was discussed it is torture! I have heard my fair shares of “logical reasoning” (aka excuses) why sellers have tough time doing this.
Here are a few of the common ones that I came across:
Don’t need to take notes, I have a great memory.
Taking notes will take me away from giving my clients/prospects my full attention.
It takes too much time to write notes or update my CRM (Customer Relations Management).
My personal gripe with taking notes was that it took me away from actually selling. I wanted to be out there visiting with client, doing demos, networking, you know really doing sales stuff! Over the years though, I came to realize that I was totally wrong! Taking effective notes is a key part of any sales process. In this podcast episode I go more in depth about this.
Here are some reasons why I started taking effective notes:
Why Note Taking Is So Important:
No matter I hard you tried I could never remember everything if I did not write t down. As a result, often times something important about the account would fall through the crack.
Taking notes on your visit with clients or prospects also made it easier when updating the account information in your CRM (Salesforce, Goldmind etc.).
Taking great notes is beneficial for the clients/prospects because it provides an effective way for them to remember details. They tend to forget details as well. They are humans! It is awesome when we can review key information we discussed during our last visit and remember the plan instead of playing the memory game.
In relation to the previous bullet point, you should send an email, post your meeting and provide a summary of your visit. You can even put it in a calendar invite as well for your next visit so they know what you discussed and what you are going to discuss on the next visit.
Taking great note does not require much time. You can simply just write down key things in bullet form. (i.e. What are their challenges and how is it effecting their organization, who is going to be apart of the demo, when is the next meeting etc. ).
To contrary thinking, taking notes will not take you away from focusing on your clients, it will help you focus more on them. How? Simply ask them if it is okay for you to take notes so that you can remember important things from their conversation. I never had anyone say no. This shows them you care about what they are saying.
Easy Ways To Take Notes:
You can use a good old fashion paper and pen. Make sure it is something small that it doesn’t become distractive.
Evernote is also a great tool to collect information or a note pad on your tablet.
I don’t use a laptop on a visit because makes a barrier or a wall between us. They also can see the screen and see if I am really taking notes or not.
Depending on the circumstances, you can also ask if you can audio record a key part of the conversation. This is different based on legality in your county, state or industry. Make sure to ask someone in the legal department from your organization. But if possible, you can use a recorder application on most smart phones.
If you don’t like the actual process of writing, simply pull up Evernote on your phone and there is an audio record tool that allows you to speak and it will transcribe what you dictate. This is also for easy note taking after an appointment.
Well I hope that this is able to help you as much as it helped me. All the excuses that I have heard are no longer valid. I saw amazing results from my efforts to properly tack key information.
Another benefit is that it also allows for your supervisors to easily review account information without the need to bother you on next steps or why the account is not moving.