In my years of selling, I’ve found one of the most powerful and versatile sales tools is the simple ink pen. Whether it’s a fancy Mont Blanc or a basic blue Bic, the pen can be used for many purposes during your conversations. If you are a professional salesperson, you should remember a few key points about your pen.
1. The most important thing about your pen – always have one!
You should always have a pen handy in your pocket, briefcase, backpack, purse. In fact, you should always have two because you never know when one is going to run out of ink. It’s worth keeping a few extra in your car or around your office or desk – you never know when you are going to have to jot something down.
2. Expensive pens don’t write bigger deals.
Only spend money on fancy pens if you really need them or if you know you aren’t going to lose them (or have them accidentally pocketed by someone else). If you spend your days at the same desk or are inking a multi-million dollar deal, then it makes sense to splurge a little on the pen. For most of us who are out in the field and always reaching for the closest pen, a good basic one is fine. I’ve heard way too many stories about someone spending hundreds of dollars on a writing instrument only to lose it two days later. In the end, as long as it writes, it’s good.
3. Use your pen to point.
People are visual creatures. If you want to have fun on your next presentation, use your pen to create focus on a random part of your sales literature and watch people’s eyes follow your pen. It’s like watching a tennis match. The pen allows your clients to see what you want them to pay attention to without your hand being in the way. This way they won’t be distracted if you have very pretty or very nasty fingernails. In the same way, if you have to focus visual attention on the most important part of a PowerPoint presentation, use your pen (put it in front of the projector).
4. Take notes.
Use your pen to write notes during the sales presentation. It sounds obvious, but if you are doing a great job in your sales presentation/interview, you are probably asking a lot of questions. Make sure you write down the answers to those questions. This way you won’t forget a powerful nugget of information that will help you pinpoint the customers biggest hot button. Also, use your pen to take notes on your talking pad when you share info with the client.
5. The best use for your pen.
Let the customer sign on the dotted line. Even though it might not be dotted, give the customer a chance to commit to their decision to buy. And physically hand the pen to the client – their act of taking it will solidify their commitment in their mind. If you don’t have paper work that they need to sign, create some. It will force you to be clear with your client and also ensures that everyone is clear what the next step will be.
The pen is a salesperson’s best friend. Treat it well!