Meeting With A Prospect? Take Notes

Portrait of business woman taking notes isolated over white background

Recently while working with a client, I was asked my opinion on a salesperson taking notes while meeting with a client. The question was, did I think it made them look as if they weren’t paying complete attention?

Absolutely not!

I always take notes. For one thing, there’s no way I can depend on my memory for everything the prospect says I’ll want to refer to later and secondly I think it sends a message to the client or prospect you are listening—intently.  You’re listening to not only hear what they say but to understand and process it as well.

I love to take notes.

Here’s the thing I will tell you: taking notes makes you listen harder. I’ve found that if I’m taking notes, I actually pick up more of the conversation because I am writing what I am hearing and not thinking of what I am going to say next.

It is a process that works for me and it works great.

Are my notes legible? Well, not exactly. To be totally transparent, many times I have to immediately take those notes and “transcribe” the chicken scratch into something I can read. I get so caught up in catching little things the prospect says that I’m totally unconcerned with penmanship.

After all, these notes are for me.

But, I need to get back to them soon before whatever I scratched out is lost from memory. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked back at things I’ve written only to have it look like hieroglyphics and I have no clue what I meant or was trying to say.

Now, let me also say I always ask the prospect if they mind if I write some things down. I truly believe it makes the prospect respect me and look at me more professionally.

I usually have a few notes on my pad that I want to ask about so I have that in front of me—I don’t have to think about what I’m going to say next. Keep in mind, I don’t grill them, but it gives me a great flow to the conversation and opens them up to talk…which is exactly what we want.

Try it. I’d love to know how it works for you.