When you are applying for a sales position, you may encounter the following question “Sell me this pen…” Remember, the pen is like a euphemism for any product. Other questions that require a similar answer are: “Can you sell me this water bottle?”, “How would you sell this phone?” OR Tell me, how would you sell this car?”
As Jordan Belfort explains, the reason why interviewers ask this question is to see if the applicant really understands what selling is all about. In actuality, there is only one rational option and that is to start asking questions. Down below you can find a great example answer to the “Sell me this pencil” narrative:
√ Do ask one of these questions right off the bat: “Can I assume that you are in the market for [Product XYZ]?”, “Do you actually need [Product XYZ]?” etc.
√ Do follow up with questions that reveal the customer’s wants and needs: “How often do you use a pen?”, “What kind of pencils do you use?”, “Do you use them everyday or occasionally?” etc.
√ Do come up with a story or narrative to evoke emotion. Remember, people seek (instant) gratification and have a strong desire to belong to something (family, social network etc.)
X Don’t instantly highlight the functions, features and benefits of the pen. Show you understand that people don’t buy because of logic, people buy because of emotion and justify with logic.