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Notes! To take or not to take?


Guest articles > Notes! To take or not to take?


by: Niall Devitt


Recording details on paper with the prospect during a sales meeting is a subject that divides a lot of salespeople. Sellers who fall into the “no to note taking camp” will say that note taking can be off putting to the prospect and only serves to stop the prospect from sharing information. They say that it can ruin the natural flow of the conversation and can make questioning the prospect a disjointed process. I on the other hand am a firm believer in the value of taking notes Here is a list of ten reasons why I believe note taking works.

  1. Taking out a pen and paper creates an impression and makes the statement ” I’m professional, I’m organised”
  2. Using a pad and paper allows you to have a questioning plan and a series lead questions written down ensuring that you cover all the points that are important during the course of the meeting.
  3. Physically recording the conversation through taking notes highlights to the prospect that you taking what they are saying seriously.
  4. Note taking serves as an effective visual demonstration to the prospect that you are listening to what been said.
  5. Taking out a pen and paper helps focus the prospects mind on the important details, in other words once they see you are recording the info, it helps to get them to think about and verbalise what they feel you need to know.
  6. Taking notes forces you to really listen to what’s been said, in order to write something down you have to listen to the words and sentences being used.
  7. Note taking reinforces the prospects desire to speak and highlights to the prospect your role as an information gatherer.
  8. Having to concentrate on taking notes helps ensure correct selling structure. It assists you to gather enough information and establish needs before moving on to the actual selling piece.
  9. Because a lot of salespeople never take notes, if you do it allows you to immediately stand out from your competitors.
  10. Note taking allows the salesperson to go back over the conversation and look for clues that at first were missed. Sometimes comments by the prospect during the meeting that initially maybe seemed unimportant can provide insight on reflection.

Niall Devitt is a training consultant and business mentor. With over a decade of experience working as senior sales manager and trainer for some of Ireland’s top companies his expertise lies in creating and implementing performance driven sales programmes. Niall is regularly asked to contribute business articles and his advice has been published through the Irish National Press and broadcast on Radio. Visit his blog on business know-how at

Contributor: Niall Devitt

Published here on: 27-Apr-08

Classification: Sales, Communication


MSWord: Notes.doc

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