All of you must have seen the movie ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ and especially the last scene where Jordan Belfort stands before the audience takes a deep breath, steps down, picks one person from the audience, pulls out an object from his pocket and leans forward with a firm request, “sell me this pen”
Though the movie will always be associated with this question, it remains an important question as far as interviews in sales jobs are concerned. This is often regarded as the best one-liner in the sales history as well. Interviewers for sales jobs and marketing positions may ask you this question to demonstrate your approach to selling a product as a part of an interview.
Why this Question?
Well, this is a genuine question. In almost every sales or marketing interview nowadays, this question is asked more often than any other question. Many interviewers are seen asking this question to separate the candidates in two categories such as ‘can-dos’ and ‘can-not’s.’ To identify whether candidates can sell, and what sales technique they can use, these questions are asked by the interviewers. In addition to this, the response that you give is an indicator of your ability to think on your feet which is very essential in this role.
Your communication skills are demonstrated in your answer. The product might not always be a pen, it may differ each time such as the product that the company sells. The interviewer’s aim behind this question is to find how well you can sell. Your answer to this question can most probably be the reason behind your selection or rejection. There will not be an exact answer to this question as it is a hypothetical one, but the interviewer will be interested in your enthusiasm, creativity, verbal communication skills and the sales process that you follow. Let’s see some tips that will enable you to give the best answer in situations like this.
Be Positive and Enthusiastic
The best answer to sell me this pen requires positivity and confidence right from the start. When you introduce the product, make sure your excitement about the product is reflected in your facial expressions. For example, you can introduce the product like, “I am delighted to tell you about how this pen can help you in writing in a more attractive, smooth, and efficient manner.” The more impressive your introduction is, more will be your chances of influencing the interviewer. Along with effective words, the nonverbal aspects of communication such as postures, gestures are also as critical. So make sure you approach conversations with an enthusiastic voice and facial expressions.
Don’t be afraid to ask a few Questions
Convincing the interviewer is most important to give a good answer. So you must try to ask some questions to the interviewer to get familiar with his potential to use the product. Your pitch will get better with more understanding of the interviewer’s needs. By considering the interviewer’s responses, you should emphasize on the respective features of the product that might help him with his activities. For example, if the interviewer mentions taking notes as a daily task, then you might talk about specific features of the pen such as a fine point, non-smearing ink, fast writing speed, etc. If the interviewer is frustrated by pens that run out of ink quickly or the ones that don’t write on certain surfaces, you can emphasize on the large capacity of ink available in your pen or how freely the ink flows from your pen.
Be Ready to Sale even with lack of Response
In some cases, it may happen that the interviewer is not interested in answering your questions and gives no response to your attempt to know his preferences. Here’s where the challenge comes and you must be ready to tackle the situation. Be ready to sell your product without the input of the interviewer. Focus on explaining the features which describe the product in the best way and also the features which engage the interviewer. Also, craft your own experiences with the product and connect them with the interviewer. Explain to him the possible advantages of using the product and put up an impressive presentation in front of him.
Be prepared to counter the Objections
In the whole sales process, countering or overcoming objections is an important element. Whenever you are explaining the benefits of the product to the interviewer, after some statements, ask the interviewer if he has any concerns about the product. For example, you can ask, “After hearing my introduction, is there anything that comes in the way of you purchasing this pen?” if the interviewer mentions something like cost, then counter him with statements such as I have been authorized to provide you with some discount if you buy more than two cases of our pens, you can also add a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
Make an Attempt to Close in an Effective Manner
An effective end is the most important element of the whole process. It is often seen that salespeople who are effective closers are in the highest demand. Regardless of the start, the final impression on the interviewer should be significant. By the interviewer’s response to the whole process, you should select how to end. If he seems unreceptive, use soft end while if he seems receptive, you might go for a hard end. At the end of the presentation, don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer for his business. Finally, you should make a catchy and enthusiastic final statement that includes a request to serve the customer.
Don’t hesitate to use some Creativity
As interviewers are asking the question on the spot, they don’t expect you to give 100% factually correct answers. So as long as your statements are credible and delivered convincingly, feel free to be creative with your response. Your creativity is the aspect the interviewer wants to see. Always remember that your confidence in the quality of the product is fundamental to effective sales.
To conclude, the sales and marketing field is growing at a rapid pace. However, the basics of this process remain the same. This question is still asked frequently in the interviews. Although there is no such an ideal answer as it varies from company to company. These tips will help you to analyze what the interviewers are expecting from you and if not ideal, what can be the most effective answer to the question ‘sell me this pen.’