Have you ever taken notes on a date?

I don't recommend it... taking notes on a date, that is.

Why? Because it's weird.

If you've been taking notes on dates, it might be why you're still single.

But what about when you meet a new prospect, even if it's just over coffee?

Do you take notes then?

If you don't, it might be why you're falling short of your sales goals.

When I take a prospective client out for coffee, I always take notes. I'll jot down key details about their background and experience. I'll write out verbatim quotes when they divulge any details about their personal philosophy. I'll scrawl ideas in the margins that might help the prospect accomplish their goals and motives. I'll scribble out graphs and diagrams of models they describe regarding their business. I'll write down stats they throw out about their revenue, process, sales, marketing, and system. I'll take down names of coworkers and partners, historical performance details, and more...

Why do I bother? Isn't a lively, engaging conversation about what I can do for my prospect enough? No. All of the notes, ideas, and thoughts I write down become valuable intel I'll need to do world-class follow up.

This is because the follow up may be more important than the initial meeting. I don't want to write them a thank you note. I want to follow up in such an inspiring way that my prospect is completely blown over. I want them to believe that no one listens, gets it, and cares as much as I do. I want them to know I've got game and that I'm the kind of pro who can help them win. I want them to respond with excitement, eagerness, and enthusiasm. I want them to start calculating my overwhelming value in their head.

Do you take notes on your new prospects? 

Maybe you think it would be a little weird. But maybe you've never tried it. Maybe that's why your follow up isn't world-class – yet. Maybe... just maybe, it could double your closing ratio.

Take detailed notes during your next prospect meeting. Use a Moleskine pad with a formal pen (never the pen you swiped from the desk in your hotel room). Make sure you're wearing a nice watch – people who keep time care about others' time. Rest your pen on your pad when you're in listening mode. Circle the most important notes. Show them certain details and ask, "Is this right?" They will be thinking, "Wow, this one's got his act together!"

I highly recommend it... taking notes on a prospect meeting, that is.

- - - 

Additional comment: I think it is a little weird when salespeople take notes during a one-on-one meeting on their iPad. To me, there's something pretentious about it. Agree or disagree? Add it to the comments...