I want to start the year off with a simple and practical tip: write quotes in your notes.
After a prospect visit, write your visit notes (also called a visit memo, or memo for the record). This is a download – and a processing – of everything that happened.
- It creates a memo of record. This is beneficial to anyone from your team that engages with the prospect, or supports the prospect strategy, at a later date.
- It allows for processing. We learn and make new connections (synthesize) if and as we take time to process the visit.
- It also saves you time later. In three weeks, you will not remember the nuances of the conversation. You can use your visit notes to make your next steps more efficient.
Include quotations – sentences, phrases, or keywords – complete with quotation marks, in your visit notes.
On a visit, you work really hard to listen to the prospect’s words and word choices. Write down key phrases exactly as they were said.
Think about a key to a door. It has distinct grooves that only work in one lock. When you write down the prospect’s words, you are taking the time to encode the distinct grooves (words!) to the prospect’s vantage point and interest. This is the key. Don’t lose the key!
There is a big difference between these two notes:
- Prospect said they were really interested but had some concerns about growth.
- Prospect said, “We can’t just keep feeding the line as it gets longer and longer. What are we doing to ‘shorten the line’?”
“The line” is the prospect’s metaphor. It is the key (language) to position our program with the prospect. We need to be able to come back later and address “shortening the line.”
Here is a visit memo (made anonymous and generic) after visiting with a prospect recently. And here is a visit memo template you can download/use.
Shoutout to Cassie who came to a For Impact Funding Boot Camp two years ago and just shared with me that this little tip has paid so many dividends for her. “It’s so amazing to go back to my notes from a year ago and remember exactly how to engage. It’s the simplest tip and makes things way easier for me in the long run!”
For Cassie and for you, this also helps your team and others pick up the conversation in future years! Take time to make that key and pass it along!