At a recent sales training workshop, several participants expressed surprise when a colleague took notes during a practical application (aka role-playing) session. Afterward, one participant said, “I’ve never thought about taking notes during my sales calls.” I found this especially surprising considering the average meeting for this group of sales reps can take as long as 2 hours.

Upon further investigation and discussion, a few reps acknowledged that they thought clients and prospects might feel awkward, uncomfortable or offended if they took notes. So I asked, “Would you be offended if someone took notes during a sales call with you?” Not one person said yes.

During all the sales meetings I have had with clients and prospects, I have never had someone say “I hope you’re not going to take notes!” No one ever gets offended. In fact, I have found the opposite: that taking notes actually increases your credibility.

You see, when you rely on remembering what was said during a sales call, it’s inevitable that you will miss or forget something (unless, of course, you have a photographic memory).

Aside from being able to review key points, here’s the real benefit of taking notes during a sales call: You can accurately recap your prospect’s objectives, goals, outcomes, challenges as well as discuss next steps. So get out some pen and paper—this simple but powerful device will increase your credibility and earn your prospects’ respect.

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