Sell me this Pen: Have you faced this classic Interview Question? One of the things an interviewer is going to want to know about applicants for sales, marketing, and related jobs is whether they can sell, and what sales strategies and techniques they use.
Interviewers for sales jobs and other marketing positions may ask you to demonstrate your approach to selling a product as part of the interview. Be prepared to pitch a product or service, even though you don’t know what you will be asked to sell.
The point of the whole “Sell me this pen” is mostly used to identify if the person getting interviewed is in any way a good candidate for a sales job.
You might think this question is only likely to be asked if you work in sales but you’d be wrong. It can be asked of almost anyone, regardless of whether sales skills are important to their job. It’s a question that forces a candidate to think on their feet while under pressure and this can tell an interviewer a lot about a candidate, not least how clearly they are able to think and to communicate. It’s a classic question.
You might be asked to sell the interviewer a pen, a pencil, a stapler, an apple, or some other object. As with other hypothetical questions, there will be no right answer, but the employer will be interested in the sales process that you follow, your verbal communication skills, and your enthusiasm and creativity.
Plan your conversation to avoid dead ends. One common trap: Starting your sales pitch by rattling off all the wonderful qualities of the pencil. Plus, after you list all the good things about the pencil, ask the interviewer if he wants to buy it, and he says no, you’ve run out of things to say most applicants fizzle after this happens. It’s OK to fake your confidence a bit to keep the conversation flowing. That beats sitting in silence.
The only way to understand what the client wants is by asking questions. You cannot guess what the client needs. A great salesman knows that there is a reason we humans have two ears and only one mouth. We should let the client do the talking. How do you get the client talking? -by asking questions.
You sold them on the importance and practical uses of your product. Now in the next step, sell them on the emotional benefits of your product. Using the pen for writing a handwritten note.
Tell them a story. Highlight how you have started writing your spouse, parents, and friends handwritten notes. Get them thinking about someone in their life that they appreciate and that they would like to thank.
If, on the other hand, you don’t work in sales then this question is going to be a little trickier to handle. Don’t let yourself be panicked though, the interviewer knows full well that you are not used to selling and they won’t be expecting you to have a whole arsenal of sales techniques at your disposal. And don’t take yourself too seriously. Good people are always light-hearted and friendly.