Intentional Ink - Closing the Deal
This post was originally published on April 5, 2012 on Forbes.com.
I own a pen that is only used for signing contracts. The only time anyone sees it is if we are inking a deal. When this pen makes its appearance, it carries a weight with it. And I don't dare pull it out of my jacket pocket unless I intend to ask someone to sign on the dotted line.
This pen has a story to go along with it. My first job out of college in sales for a large insurance company, I hustled my way into the number one spot in the nation amongst my peers. It had been a goal of mine and one that I had obsessed over in every meeting with my mentors and the leadership of the office. On the day that the news came down from headquarters that I'd taken over the top spot, my boss walked into my office with a small black box. He set it on my desk and said, "Congrats. I want you to have this. Only use it for closing." I opened the box and inside I saw the Montblanc Starwalker. It was heavier and more beautiful than any pen I'd ever seen.
That was in 2005. And ever since then, that pen has only has made appearances when there are deals to be signed. Because of its very specific purpose, I think about it before I bring it to any meeting. "Am I going to close a deal today or are we just here to catch up? What is the intention of this meeting?" Knowing that there is that much gravity attached to each time I bring this pen out, there's no way I'm going into a meeting with the pen unless I'm making an ask and intending to get contracts signed.
The weight of intentionality that I feel with it clipped to my inside jacket pocket ensures that if I want to bring it out, it's going to be for the purpose of bringing in new business and letting it live up to it's intentional place in my closing process.
Besides that, once people see it, they want to hold it and use it. It just makes sense for them to have a place to put their signature.
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