Sell Me This Pen

“Sell Me This Pen” is one of the hardest yet easiest sales interview question. The few Sales interviews I have attended and this question is asked, it just takes people by surprise and completely beats them. Today I was re-watching some great scenes from Wolf of Wall Street and there are two scenarios where Jordan Belfort gives the challenge.

Scene One: They are at a restaurant, he asks guy A to sell him a pen, guy claims to be eating his burger. He asks Guy B to sell him the pen. Guy B holds the pen then asks Belfort; “can you do me a favour and write your name down?” Belfort responds; “well, I don’t have a pen.” Guy B is like; “exactly, supply and demand my friend.” And boom he sells the pen, there is a need, he provides a solution.

Scene Two: Belfort asks a number of people to sell him the pen and everyone goes off rambling about the qualities of the pen, name it all. They all fail to sell the pen.

Of course months later, when the real Jordan Belfort appeared on the Piers Morgan show, he showed how to nail this question by qualifying the prospect through a set of questions. Because when you are asked to sell a pen, you have no context, so you want to use questions to lead you to selling this pen. So a person selling a pen could ask; “when was the last time you used a pen? What were you using the pen for?…” The big three takeaways are; 1. People buy with emotions and justify with logic 2. People don’t buy their way into something, they buy their way out of something. Selling is to enable a client buy out of their problem. 3. People don’t buy products and services, they buy stories