We're always looking for new tools to increase sales to add to our collection, new ways to go from lead generation to repeat customer faster and more reliably. In recent years, the developments have come primarily in the form of software to increase sales. Bigger and better enterprise resource planning suites, advanced analytics programs to help you track what you're doing, who you're talking to, what's selling. Tools that sort qualified leads from low-value ones without human input, or help you realize that you can't increase sales because of a single under-trained representative earlier in the pipeline.
All of these tools have helped us increase sales to new heights, yes, but don't forget the value of analog technology. There's a tool that can increase sales beyond any piece of software, cleverly used, and you likely have it sitting in your office already: The pen. Writing things down with a simple pen or pencil can have a monumental impact on your ability to complete tasks, remember vital information, and otherwise excel in ways that will directly increase sales. In this article, we'll discuss how this works and why you should consider putting away the tablet PC and picking up the post-it notes.
If you're not already leveraging the motivating, effort-focusing power of a simple "To-Do" list to increase sales, that's where you should start. But there's a big difference between typing up a list or marking it in your time management software of choice, and consciously taking the time and effort to write and re-write a list to your satisfaction. Partially because writing takes time-you can really consider what you are and aren't including in your lists if you're writing by hand, because you're forced to take that moment whether you like it or not.
There's also the inherent flexibility you gain when writing by hand. If you need doodles, margin notes, or anything else that might be a challenge in a digital format, you can quickly handle it with a simple pen. You also gain the benefit of inescapable, undeniable flexibility inherent to the paper medium. It can be easy to forget to open your day planner software, but you're not likely to ignore a post-it stuck to your monitor before you left for the evening.
Learning as many ways to quickly get to know your prospects is key if you want to increase sales. Unless you have a perfect memory, which means taking notes, and in most cases you'll be better served in taking those notes with a pen than with a keyboard. We've already discussed the flexibility of format you gain with pen and paper over a keyboard or other tool, and you can get rid of the time disparity (at the expense of time to mull things over) by utilizing shorthand.
Writing also has the advantage of being much easier to do quickly one-handed than typing. Finally, not every communication with a customer or moment of valuable insight's going to come to you when it's convenient to open a word processor and type up a note-for those times, having a pen and something to write on handy can mean the difference between closing the sale or having it fall through.
The Science Behind Writing.
There's strong scientific evidence behind writing over typing as a way to keep notes, make lists, and do the other tasks we've mentioned undertaking to increase sales. Studies have shown that people write more complete sentences faster with a pen than a keyboard, and that hand writing develops cognitive abilities more than typing the same content. The theory goes that because writing each letter requires a more active, unique hand movement than typing the corresponding key, more of the brain is activated and engaged in the process-making what you've written stick better in your mind. So if you want to increase sales, make the pen your tool of choice.