How To Get Creative To Make Something Average Extraordinary
Make it more than a pen.
Ill give you an example.
You think of Bic as a pretty standard pen, right?
Well, the company turned that on its head with ads they released a few years back. These images drove home the fact that a Bic pen lasts a really, really long time: 2 kilometers worth of ink, in fact .
The ads show that the distance is equal to two Tower Bridges :
Come up with a way that you can turn the pen into something more than a vehicle to write, and use to make what youre saying more persuasive.
Part of painting the solution in a sale that closes is making someones need more urgent.
Ian Adams does this well in his answer to sell me this pen. Heres how he wraps up his pitch:
Unfortunately, this is my last pen today . So, I suggest you get this one. Try it out. If youre not happy with it, I will personally come back next week to pick it up. And it wont cost you a dime.
Why it works:
- Scarcity: A limited supply of something + high demand you need to buy now or risk losing access to the product or service
- Pre-suasion: Doing a favor right before asking for one increases their likelihood of saying yes.
More techniques you can use on your own:
- Social proof: Mentioning names of their peers or idols who use the same pen)
- Specificity: Using numbers to show how long the pen lasts , how popular it is , how much it costs
- Tying it to Maslows Hierarchy below
Remember To Pivot From Questions To Statements
When selling a pen, at some point you have to sell the pen. So once youve done your due diligence by feeling out the client on his or her needs, you need to transition to making statements about the product you have for sale.
Belfort rightly emphasizes that you shouldnt launch straight into a description of the pen. But once youve learned more about the clients needs and wants, you should be well-versed in the features of the pens you sell.
You may want to mention its sleek, sophisticated look, its refillable cartridges, the lightweight size, how easily the ink flows, etc. Again, dont lead with this, but you need to be prepared to describe the excellent features of the product youre selling.
How To Sell Your Interviewer A Pencil
Sell me this pencil.
If youre interviewing for a sales position, chances are that your interviewer will hand you a pencil and ask you to sell it to him or her. How you respond to this challenge is crucial to determining your suitability for a sales job.
What not to doNever make the mistake of immediately launching into a sales pitch of all the pencils great qualities. It could be a one of a kind pencil with the worlds most comfortable grip and an eraser that never runs out, but if you dont know what your prospect is looking for, listing your products unique selling propositions is a waste of everyones time.
Determine the value to the prospectExperienced sales professionals ask a lot of questions before they launch into a sales pitch. Similarly, you need to learn more about your prospects needs and pain points so you can determine whether your product can add value to his life.
Ask questions like, Do you like using pencils to write or draw? What qualities do you look for in a good pencil? What kind of pencils do you currently use? Why do you like them? Is there something you dont like about them? Write the answers down so you can refer to them later.
When you put it all together, remember that an interviewer asking you to sell something in real time is an open door to showcase your skills for an exciting careerand one you can truly be passionate about.
Recommended Reading: Top 10 Behavioral Questions
Sell More Of Your Smarts
In every interview, regardless of whether you’re asked, “Sell me this pencil” or not, you’re actually selling yourself. So you need to be prepared with the smartest answers, quickest replies, and the best way to close the deal. Could you use some help getting that all together? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you’ll get interview insights, career advice, and useful job search tips sent directly to your inbox. From describing your personality to talking about your greatest strengths and weaknesses to explaining why you want the job, Monster’s experts will show you how to craft answers that make hiring managers sit up and take notice. Consider that pencil sold.
The Poor Sellers Approach:
The poor seller mainly will explain the functionalities of the pen, rather than focusing on the needs of the client
Seller: Its an awesome pen, made by white gold.Client: I dont need a pen, and by the way, this one is too expensive.Seller: But the ink is first quality, try to hold it to feel the gripClient: No thanks, I have to go.
Read Also: Questions To Ask A Cfo In An Interview
What Not To Say
- I’m not comfortable doing that. You have to answer the question. So any response that tries to avoid itby saying you’re not comfortable responding, or this isn’t reflective of how you’d sell in real lifeisn’t very helpful.
- Go beyond describing features. The interviewer knows what a pen does . In your response, aim to make a connectioneither an emotional appeal or some kind of connection to the interviewer’s needs. You can always guess as to why the interviewer will benefit from the penthat’s probably a better tactic than just listing features.
Common Mistakes When Answering This Question
As with all interview questions, mistakes can spell trouble. Luckily, it is possible to avoid most missteps when youre facing the sell me this pen interview question. You just need to know what they are and how to sidestep them.
One of the biggest ones is focusing too much on the pen when you prepare. While you may certainly have to sell a pen, the hiring manager might ask you to sell something else namely, one of the companys products or services. If you dont know what the company offers, you wont be able to pull this off.
You need to do a good bit of research. Look at what the company sells before your interview. If you dont, youll be in a bind.
Additionally, you may have to sell me this apple or sell me this phone. Technically, any item can appear in the sell me this question. Thats why you dont want to focus too much on the pen when you practice.
How do you prepare if you dont know what item youll need to sell? By understanding the strategy for responding.
How you approach the question never changes. When you have a great process, you can sell anything. Well be covering the strategy part of the equation here in a moment.
Finally, not asking your own questions is a massive mistake. You cant figure out how to approach the sale if you dont know anything about the potential buyers needs and priorities. So, do a little digging. Find out what makes the hiring manager tick. Only after that should you launch into your spiel.
You May Like: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview
Ivan Cohen You Can Find Ivans Linkedin Profile Here
There are many acronyms to selling. PPP, BANT, and the tried-and-true sales cycle of qualify, present, handle objections, trial close, close, follow up. One of the best salespeople I have ever known had a different take on it: Qualify, qualify, qualify, qualify, close.
Theres a lot of truth in this it is truly about qualifying. Before I can sell you anything, I need to know theres a need. I need to know why theres a need, what you use now, why mine is better. I need to know what you like about what you use now, what you dont like about what you use now, why you might want to change what you use now, features you may want to have in your new item: wants and desires you have around your prospective new purchase.
Simply, this is all qualifying. How much do you want to spend on your new pen? No point in presenting a gold-filled, top-quality writing instrument when your budget is ten dollars. Again, qualifying. When you have properly qualified your client, you have no more questions and there are no red flags to wave when I ask you for the order. When I am ready to present my solution, I know your needs, budget, timeline. I know the product I am presenting suits your needs, meets your desires, fits your budget.
In over 30 years of business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales, proper qualifying has been critical to my success. My background includes retail to the public and, for the past 20 years, business-to-business in telecom and related products.
Best Answer To Sell Me This Pen I Have Ever Seen
Founder at DocEazy Healthcare, Core Team Member Power Automotive
I personally never thought anyone would actually say, sell me this pen in a sales interview. I was wrong. It will happen to you too. And to avoid panic, you should know exactly what to say back.
I am going to give you the right sales framework to respond perfectly every time.
On a quick side note, did you know this sales interview question has been around for millions of years? Its origins date back to the earliest of cavemen. Selling slingshots cave-to-cave. Except back then, they asked, sell me this bowl of crushed berries.
Anyways. The point is, one day it will happen to you and I want you to be prepared.
Because if you start to describe how smooth the pen feels and how shiny the pen looks, just like you saw in the Wolf of Wallstreet
You probably wont get the job.
You May Like: How To Prepare System Design Interview
Speak In A Nice Voice And Dont Forget About Your Body Language:
Now that we are coming towards the end of the article, this is something that must be told. It doesnt matter if you are selling a pen or a piece of jewellery if you want to sell a product to your clients and impress them, you have to be confident and impress them with your body language.
When you are attending a sales session, dont forget to smile at them. This will automatically please the interviewer. Secondly, you should have a nice tone to your voice that sounds sweet and impressive.
You should show that you are enthusiastic about this and very much confident about the pen you are selling.
Let The Interviewer Know That The Pen Could Save His Life:
Another important tip you should remember while selling a pen is that you should be able to cater to the needs of the interviewer.
You should speak confidently and say only those things that will make the interviewer feel like their life is dependent on this one product that you are selling.
Dont forget to put yourself in that persons shoes! Also, you must let them know that you have been in situations where you wanted something but didnt get it. That will help you establish a rapport with them.
Recommended Reading: Preparing For System Design Interview
Heres Exactly What You Can Say
Just to back up for a second, I had 26 sales interviews in a period of three months. Someone was bound to ask me.
Ok. The Director of Sales stood up and said, it was great meeting you Ian. Let me go grab the CEO to come in next. Moments later, the CEO of the 30 person startup walked in the small conference room.
Shortly after initial greetings, the CEO wasted no time to start the interview.
I practiced my answer beforehand. I made sure my answer displayed the four sales skills the CEO needed to hear.
Now you can read it for yourself. And then use it for yourself.
At the bottom, you can see a simple sales framework to memorize that will make this work for you in any situation.
You can memorize the script, but more importantly, memorize the sales framework at the end.
Here you go
CEO: Do me a favor, sell me this pen.
Me: When was the last time you used a pen?
CEO: This morning.
Me: Do you remember what kind of pen that was?
Me: Do you remember why you were using it to write?
CEO: Yes. Signing a few new customer contracts.
Me: Well Id say thats the best use for a pen .
Wouldnt you say signing those new customer contracts is an important event for the business? Then shouldnt it be treated like one. What I mean by that is, here you are signing new customer contracts, an important and memorable event. All while using a very unmemorable pen.
Actually. You know what? Just this week I shipped ten new boxes of these pens to Elon Musks office.
What do you say?
A Make A Sales Pitch That Focuses On How The Pen Meets Customer Needs
Have you suffered a loss because you forgot important tasks you didnt write down on your to-do list? Have you ever had to sign a contract or write a cheque but didnt have the tools to do so?
Allow me to introduce this pen that will help you write down critical tasks in a jiffy. Its ink is reliable and long-lasting and comes in an easily portable and modern pen design to give you the perfect grip.
Write at all hours of the day seven days a week without worrying about hand pain
You get the drift. Pitch the pen to the interviewer, highlighting its key features and benefits in an impactful manner.
You May Like: Questions To Ask A Cfo During An Interview
What The Interviewer Really Wants
Now, before we delve into how to sell the pen, were going to discuss why the interviewer is asking you to sell the pen.
You need to step-back and understand its not about the pen or the pencil or the apple.
Its about your preparedness and readiness to jump at an opportunity and your ability to clearly and effectively communicate the why.
The interviewer doesnt want to buy the pen.
They want to see how you sell it.
They want to see your communication skills, your ability to think quickly, and your ability to communicate and convince them.
The pen is simply a tool the interviewer is using for this practice.
That is why the first thing you need to do is forget about the pen.
Focus on the why behind the question and tackle that.
And the why in this situation is why should the interviewer choose you over the other candidates.
Do you have better communication skills?
Are you a better negotiator?
Are you a more skilled salesperson?
Yes This Classic Question Still Comes Up In 21st
How well do you sell?
Youre sitting in a job interview ready to answer any question the hiring manager has about your qualifications and why youre a great fit for the job. Then he holds up his writing instrument and says, Sell me this pencil, or, “Sell me this pen.”
This request is nearly as old as the job interview itself. Its a simple questiontypically geared toward candidates for sales positionsbut it can be difficult to answer. And you might be surprised to learn what the interviewer is hoping to hear.
Most interviewers are screening for confidence and cogency, says Brett Cenkus, a Texas-based business consultant and lawyer who has trained sales professionals. In general, interviewers use this question to get a feel for your sales style and experience, he adds.
There are a few guidelines pros like Cenkus suggest you follow when crafting your response:
Also Check: Cfo Interview
Finally Its Your Turn To Sell Me The Pen :
Here you dont have to mug up the answers provided, just craft a pitch and follow. Things you need to do are.
- Collect the data or information
- React to the information
- Offer a solution
- In the end, close the sale
No matter what you are expected to sell during a sales interview, always remember that it is your attitude that matters most. Your interviewer wants to see your best and your worst.
This could also be a great time for you to showcase your talents so dont be shy to speak whats on your mind.
And if you follow all these points, we bet you will be able to handle all tough questions during sales interviews. On that note, we would like to wish you good luck!
A Call Of Action Is A Must:
You must always remember to add a call to action as a technique. This happens to be the final phase of selling any product when you are in an interview.
This could be a vital selling point that should really never go unnoticed. You have to give the person interviewing you a reason to be able to purchase the product immediately even when you are in that room.
Though this could be just another exercise, it is an important process that should be started from the start to the end.
Recommended Reading: Best Interview Clothes For A Woman
Best Salesmen Listen More Than Talk
For sure you know these salesmen who just keep talking. Nonstop. Its super annoying spending half an hour with them, either on the phone, or in the room. And they never really generate a decent sales volume, regardless of what they try to sell. Because the best sales talk is always a dialogue. Even when you are selling such a simple thing as a penor especially then.
Just imagine it. A simple blue pen, with a logo of some company, lies on the table. And you are supposed to sell it to the interviewer. How will you start? What feature or characteristic of the pen will you point out in your talk, when there are no special features?
Thats really hard to say, unless you know your customer, and what they exactly want to do with that pen. Knowing their purpose, its much easier to close the deal. Thats why it is pivotal to ask questions in your role play. And you can start the entire thing with one. Check the following two openings:
I see you are checking out some pens Sir. Can I ask you what do you need the pen for, so I can advise you the most fitting one?
What are you looking for in a perfect pen?