Writing…Turning a Weakness into a Strength

Why is it that many sales reps believe they can remember all details of all sales calls they conduct even though no notes are taken during the customer call?

It does not matter if sales reps call on 3 customers a day or 8 customers per day; too many sales reps don’t keep detailed notes which they can refer to before the next call. Thus, much relevant customer and sales activities information are forever lost since sales reps refuse to take notes during calls.

Writing down objectives, taking notes during the call to capture key discussion points, and immediately recording call outcomes and next steps for future reference MUST be institutionalized in the selling process to fully maximize your chances for success.

It is important to recognize that in order to strengthen the selling process and make permanent changes for the better, it is absolutely critical that new and improved habits overcome ineffectual and obsolete habits. And writing is one of the most basic but a significantly lacking skill in a sales person’s selling tool kit!

Before the call:

By clearly writing down the objectives before the call, the sales rep can clarify what they are trying to accomplish. Also, by determining the objectives for the call in written fashion, the sales rep is able to monitor the success rate of the call. Over a period of time, this can then be used as evaluation criteria, which the sales reps themselves can use to see if their activities are producing results or they need to change their activities patterns.

During the call:

By taking notes during the call, key discussion points are captured for quick reference at a later time. Errors are eliminated; call specifics are captured so there are no mistakes down the road. It also signals to the customer the sales rep is interested enough in what is being said and the importance that is being placed for this call.

After the call:

By recording the conclusion and the anticipated next steps immediately after each call, sales reps can finalize the call on the spot and not need to worry about this customer until the next call cycle. By that time, chances are the sales rep has already visited numerous other accounts, which may impact remembering details of the call if not previously recorded. By having the conclusions and next steps recorded at the end of each call, the sales rep will be in a better position to plan for the upcoming call without straining to remember critical details of the previous visit and comments.

Simple to say, but for many sales reps, hard to do since most have habits which exclude writing as a part of their selling process. Writing is an absolutely essential sales tool for any sales rep. Use a diary, use a binder, or if nothing else, the back of an envelope. Anything to jot down the details of the call. The results are immediate, profound and continuous.

Try it sometimes and see the improvement in your sales calls!

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