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How to answer Sell me this pen, the right way!

So go ahead and sell me this pen.


How many of us have come across this question during an interview?


And how many of us have actually failed to come up with a quirky answer instantly?


While this question may not be a make or break one, it makes a lot of sense to get a brief idea around how to answer this question correctly!


In this blog post we will look at precisely that, so if you are interested, keep on reading!


This post will cover the following points

1. What is the intent behind asking this question?

2. Tips to respond to this question

3. What are the things that you need to avoid to answer this question?

4. Example of the perfect answer for this question


Now let’s look at each of them in detail

Watch the YouTube video below


1. What is the intent behind asking 'sell me this pen' in an interview?

Now remember that this question is specific to a sales or marketing profile, so clearly there has to be a strong reason behind asking this question.


And typically, the reason behind asking this question can be broken down into the following points:


a. Understanding your sales skills

The most obvious intent is to understand how well can you think on your feet and how good are your sales skills?


b. Communication Skills

Communication should come naturally to you, and this is tested brilliantly when it comes to answering this question.


I have spoken about how important your communication skills need to be in the video ‘How to answer what are your strengths’ and if you haven’t watched that video yet, I will link it at the top for you guys to check out.


c. Enthusiasm level

Do you answer confidently, even if not correctly, or do you shy away from the ask?


This is also a very important point that is judged by asking this question.


Because when it comes to sales, you may always come across questions that you may not have prepared for, in a situation like that, you cannot shy away!



2. Tips to respond while answering the question 'Sell me this pen'

Remember that there is no, one right answer that you can just learn and answer and expect to crack the interview.


This is because its very subjective in nature, what works for one interviewer may not work for another, and there is no way to judge that in advance.


However, here are some tips that you can consider while answering this question:


a. Show some enthusiasm

While your enthusiasm should be present across the interview, this question shouldn’t let that down.


Remember that every good sales person, will always welcome a challenge so take it up and smile your way into the answer.


b. Ask questions on your customer’s need

The customer in this case is the interviewer, emphatize with the needs of your customers.


Ask relevant questions on usage of a pen in their lives, what are the qualities they look for in a pen, budget constraints etc.


c. Match needs with features

Now that you know the needs of your customer, try and match the features of your product with the needs.


Remember, you have all the flexibility when answering this question so you must be able to come up with features that may or may not actually be present in the pen.


d. Get in a emotional angle

Emotions sell the best, that’s a given!


A pen may be something that your customer owns any which ways, he/she may not need another one, so it’s best to appeal to their emotions at this point, and then sell it!


e. Be open to objections

The interviewer may purposely reject your offer, and that doesn’t mean that you did a bad job, instead take the rejection positively.


Know that sales is also about how strongly you can accept rejection, and hence this part is crucial



3. What are the things that you should avoid while answering 'Sell me this pen'?

Now that I have told you what you need to cover in your answer, let’s look at the two most important things that you should not do while answering this question


a. Refuse to answer

And while this may sound extreme, there are candidates that simply duck and avoid this answer.


Don’t do that – even if your answer is not good, your attempt will matter, so please make sure that you at least try.


b. Focus only on the features of the pen

Don’t just start a monologue, where you start talking about the features of the pen.


The customer would simply walk off, make it more customer oriented.



4. Examples of answers to 'Sell Me this pen'

Example 1:

Interviewer: So, go ahead and sell me this pen, let me check your sales skills


You: Sure, can you tell me something about your pen usage?


Interviewer: I use a pen on a regular basis, more so for signing documents


You: Did you ever realise that, you are not just signing a document but leaving a mark? And leaving a mark with the right kind of pen is important.


Let me introduce you to pen xyz which leaves a mark like no other, may be you want to give it a shot?


Example 2:

Interviewer: So go ahead and sell me this pen


You: Sure sir, can you tell me the intent behind selling this pen?


Interviewer: Assume that we need to increase sales of this pen


You: Sure, can you sign this document stating your needs to increase the sales


Interviewer: But my pen is with you


You: You can have it back for 10rs. and we can then continue with our process


Do let me know if you have any unique way of answering this question, leave your valuable comments below!



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