The words “Sell me this pen” will long be associated with The Wolf of Wall Street.
Since then, interviewers have adopted this method, and seems to be working for them.
So, if you’re in the middle of a job interview for a sales position, and everything is going swimmingly. The interviewer then gives you the challenge you were expecting: “Please sell this pen to me.”
This kind of question is enough to make your stomach drop to your shoes. It’s difficult to think on your feet, to begin with, and when that’s mixed with the fact that your nerves are frayed, it’s easy to go blank and gaze at that pen slack-jawed.
Fortunately, just like any other sort of job interview question, a little planning and practice may help you nail your answer.
So, what do you need to know to effectively respond to an interview question that asks you to “sell me something”? We’ll go over everything in depth right here.
Continue reading to understand the Best Answer to the “Sell me this Pen” Question in an Interview.
Where was “Sell me this Pen” Said?
That comment has become legendary in the marketing industry.
It was, of course, from the film The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, a master salesman who lived in real life.
Now, let’s see what “Sell me this Pen” means.
What Does “Sell me this Pen” Mean?
“It’s a bit of a ruse.” Because if you say to a salesperson, “Sell me this pen,” you can get responses like, “This is a great pen, but it writes upside down.”
This pen defies gravity, is the cheapest pen on the planet, and will never run out.’
They’ll tell you all the reasons the pen is great, then tell you about the features, and the better ones will also tell you about the advantages.
However, that isn’t the genuine solution.
If you’re asked this kind of question in an interview, it means they want to know your marketing strategies.
Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?
Interviewers pose this question, as well as others concerning your capacity to sell, marketing, and similar occupations in order to determine whether they can sell and what sales strategies they use.
Your response not only shows your skill to sell but also demonstrates your ability to think on your feet, which is critical in this profession. Your response also indicates your ability to communicate.
This interview question does not necessarily require a pen.
Traditional choices for this question are apples or pens, although recruiters may ask you to sell any product on the spot, including one made by the company.
The purpose of the interviewer is to determine how well you can sell and what sales strategies you employ.
How to Respond to the Job Interview Question “Sell Me This Pen”
They may ask you to sell the interviewer a pen, pencil, stapler, apple, or other commonplace items.
There will be no proper answer, as with other hypothetical questions, but the employer will be interested in the sales technique you use, your verbal communication abilities, and your excitement and originality.
Here are some approaches to consider as you respond to this question:
1. Be optimistic. Be Positive and Enthusiastic.
As you introduce the product, make sure you’re upbeat and enthusiastic about it.
“I’m delighted to inform you how this pen can help you write in a legible, appealing, and efficient manner,” you might remark.
Make sure you pitch the product with an enthusiastic voice and facial expressions because the nonverbal parts of your presentation will be just as important as your words.
Animation can assist you to show excitement and reinforce your belief in the product’s value.
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2. Make a point of emphasizing the qualities that the interviewer will value
Getting to know your consumer is an important part of the selling process, therefore you might ask the interviewer for clarification on their prospective usage of the product.
3. Don’t be afraid to poke around and ask some questions
The more you understand your interviewer’s requirements, the more effective your pitch will be.
Playoff the interviewer’s comments to highlight some of your pen’s features that might be useful to them in their work.
If your interviewer shows that taking notes during meetings is important to them, you may emphasize that your pen has a fine tip and non-smearing ink, allowing them to take legible notes.
You may emphasize how freely the ink flows from your pen and the vast volume of ink available if pens that didn’t write on certain surfaces frustrated the interviewer or rapidly ran out of ink.
4. Prepare to sell
Some interviewers may be resistant to your attempt to gauge their preferences. As a result, prepare to sell the product without their help.
Emphasize the product’s features and the advantages that owning and using it will provide to the consumer.
As you create a response, consider your own experience with the product and the prospective experiences of other users.
5. Inquire about any reservations you may have about the product or service
A crucial part of the sales process is identifying and overcoming objections to a product.
Check up with the interviewer after making some remarks about the product’s benefits to see if they have any worries that might prevent a purchase.
“Is there anything that would prevent you from purchasing this pen after hearing my pitch?” you could ask.
If the interviewer brings up a topic like a cost, respond with a statement like, “If you order three cases or more of our pens, I have been given permission to give you a 20% discount.
What’s the Best Answer to “Sell me this Pen” Question in an Interview
Jordan Belfort stands onstage in front of an audience in the last scene, and the room is filled with an expectant calm.
He takes a deep breath in and out. Takes into account the audience. Steps down, walks forward, and selects a seat for one person.
Belfort removes an object from his pocket and bends down to make a forceful request: “sell me this pen,” he says, staring him down.
“It’s an incredible pen,” says the first seller.
“It’s a beautiful pen, you can write down thoughts from your life,” the second seller continued.
To put it another way, this salesperson discusses the attributes of the pen.
Leonardo seems clearly unimpressed with the responses.
Backtrack to a scene in the film when Leonardo was just starting out with his first sales staff, which he had to personally groom into badass salesman. He posed the same inquiry to his colleagues. (You can see the scene here.)
The first retort was actually rather amusing. One of the salesmen Leonardo was training boasts that he can sell anything.
So, when Leonardo delivers him a pen and says, “Sell me this pen,” the man fidgets and asks if he can finish his hamburger before answering on how to sell the pen and proceeds to describe it.
The pen is then given to one of the men Leonardo claims “can sell anything,” hinting that this salesman is indeed dope.
The man takes the pen from Leonardo and instructs him to write his name.
When Leonardo says he doesn’t have a pen and can’t write his name, the man hands the pen back to Belfort and says, “Exactly, Supply and Demand.”
So, you see!
You sell the pen by refusing to sell it. Yes, you did hear me correctly.
When trying to sell a pen (remember, the pen may be any product or service), the last thing you should do is begin by extolling the virtues of the pen; cease making the pen the object of your pitch!
Nobody cares how great your product is; what matters is how much value it can provide for them!
There is a time to sell your product’s and service’s benefits, and there is a time to sell the features of your product or service.
Both of these factors are crucial in sealing a deal with a potential consumer.
Tips and Tricks to Answer “Sell me this Pen” at a Job Interview
To stand out when answering this question, there are things you need to understand.
You must first comprehend who your customer is as a person.
What are their favorite and least favorite things? What piques their interest? How did they get to be in this position?
Then you must comprehend their requirements, like how frequently they use a pen, the types of pens they use, and whether they use a pen every day or maybe infrequently.
If you start your conversation by trying to sell your potential customer a pen, you’re more likely to lose the transaction than to close it.
Now the big question is WHY?
Nobody enjoys being sold something. Many people, on the other hand, are seeking for things to buy.
Isn’t that a bit perplexing? That’s something you discover when you master the art of selling.
In a sales call, for example, you should spend more time listening than speaking.
According to James 1:19 in the Bible, Listen quickly and speak slowly.
I suppose that’s one of the reasons why mastering the art of sales is so difficult: most people want to be in charge, and they feel obligated to sell the customer something.
They feel driven to start selling straight once and to take the lead in the conversation.
You may, in my opinion and experience, lead the conversation without speaking excessively.
By listening more, you can take the lead in the conversation. How do you uncover your prospective customer’s pain points if you don’t listen?
You are inquisitive and attentive. You listen intently after allowing the customer to talk.
Most salespeople aren’t aware of this.
The salespeople who do, by which I mean those who understand that you don’t just “sell the pen,” but rather get to know your customer by being interested in who they are — their goals and desires — are the ones who grasp the art of sales.
Examples of the Best Answers
I’d like to learn more about how you use a pen in your everyday routine to assist me better understand how my product might help you. When do you use a pen the most during the day? When was the last time you drew something with a pen? What aspects of the encounter were satisfying? What was missing or vexing you?
Why it Works: You’ll need to follow up with a “sell” once you hear the interviewer’s response, but starting with questions shows that you understand that knowing the customer’s wants and using listening skills is an important aspect of being an effective salesperson.
My customers discover our apples make a great healthy snack for on-the-go families or to pack in your kids’ school lunches. We get our apples from local orchards every week, so they’re always fresh and crisp. We exclusively sell apples that have been grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers organically. Our apples are high in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that are good for you. They’re sweet and delightful, but they’re also good for your health.
Why It Works: This candidate is ready to deliver an on-the-spot persuasive argument in favor of apples, citing a variety of advantages (customer appreciation, health, tastiness, and so on). This is a confident response that demonstrates the candidate’s ability to close a deal.
I’d be honored to be your preferred supplier of high-quality pens. I will work hard to earn your trust in me and our goods, and to ensure that you are completely delighted with it. Is it okay if we proceed with your first order?
Why It Works: An interviewer ultimately wants to employ a salesperson who can close a deal. This candidate closes with a bang! There’s no need to be afraid of coming to a confident conclusion to your attempt to sell the widget—that’s a trait interviewers look for in sales candidates.
This solution works if “sell me this pen” is a test to determine if you know to ask a question before answering.
Use the earlier strategy to drive a dialogue from information gathering to closure if it’s a more complicated test.
Hence, this shows your capacity to recognize and solve complex situations.
You’ll be ready to answer the question during job interviews if you take the time to prepare to sell something.
- medium.com – SELL ME THIS PEN! How To Be A Badass Salesperson!
- thebalancecareers.com – How to Answer the “Sell Me This Pen” Job Interview Question
- themuse.com – 4 Tips for Responding to “Sell Me This Pen” in an Interview
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