The interview question "sell me this pen" is a common one for a sales interview. Your interviewer will ask you this question to understand your sales process.
Here are ten examples of these types of questions and examples of the best answers to prove that you are the right person for the sales role and leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager.
Top 10 answers to the “Sell me this pen” interview question.
#1. Your goal: sell a pen as a gift and overcome objections
Candidate:It's an attention-grabbing pen, isn't it?
Journalist:Yes very good.
Candidate:What are your specific needs? Are you looking for a pen for yourself or a gift?
Journalist:It is a gift for my son. You just got a promotion at his job.
Candidate:Wow! You must be very proud. This is a great achievement and a pen is a great gift. It's something you can carry and use to sign important documents, and every time you wear it, you'll be reminded of your support.
Journalist:Yes, I found a good pen because it is something practical and memorable.
Candidate:Do you know if he prefers blue or black ink?
Journalist:I'm just looking, thanks. They look a bit expensive.
Candidate:You know it's right. These pens are not for everyone. They are exclusive and are mainly bought by big pilots and company executives after great achievements. But you see, you do not give an ordinary pen. You give the gift of self-confidence and recognition of achievement. It's the kind of gift that will show the kind of person you think your child is and the value you place on him as a person.
Journalist:He achieved a lot.
Candidate:Exactly! And this pen will show it to whoever uses it and will remind them every time they pick it up. So, would you like this gift wrapped?
#2.Your goal:Generic pluma for sale
Candidate:So you're looking for a new pen?
Candidate:And what kind of pen are you looking at? Do you prefer a gel pen, a fine liner, a fountain pen, a regular ballpoint pen, or something else?
Journalist:I like a beautiful, simple and easy to use pen.
Candidate:And what do you use your pen for?
Journalist:Well, the truth is that I don't write much. I love using a paper calendar. I find that I remember dates and events better by physically writing them down, so I only use my pen when adding an event that day, therefore only for a few minutes every day or two.
Candidate:So you just need a simple and practical pen that works functionally but doesn't have to be fancy?
Candidate:However, you need it to be reliable because you can't afford to forget to write something because your pen didn't work or you sounded unprofessional on the phone saying, "Um, oh, let me find you a pen that works."
Candidate:This is the pen for you. It is a quality and reliable pen. Its simple construction means there is nothing to break and it will always be there when you need it. Do you want just that or would you like a pack of 10 pens?
#3.Your goal:Selling to a disabled artist
Candidate:So you're looking for a pen?
Candidate:What do you usually use a pen for?
Journalist:I am an artist so I look for a quality pen that produces crisp, sharp lines with deep, even color and is reliable.
Candidate:Of course, there's no erasing and trying again when drawing with a pen. You should know that the tip will work the same way and produce the same line, depth of color, and texture each time you use a given technique.
Journalist:Yes, consistency is important.
Candidate:What paint color would you like?
Journalist:It's for contouring only, so black is the most common I use.
Candidate:Black I got it. Fine tip or broad tip?
Candidate:Great, here is the pen that I would recommend. It is made by Staedtler, they are a quality manufacturer and stand behind all of their fine liners. They are widely known for spreading ink smoothly and evenly without smearing, even on thick art paper, and their fine tips create strong lines without marring the paper.
Journalist:It seems exactly what I need.
Candidate:Did you just want this in black or is there a 3 pack with blue and red and a 10 pack with various colors including black?
UEjournalist:You know what, it's a good idea to get the 3 pack and I've got all my bases covered.
#4.Your goal:Demonstrate ability to sell expensive items.
Candidate:When was the last time you bought a pen?
Journalist:Probably a year ago.
Candidate:Was it for business or personal use?
Candidate:And what kind of pen do you usually buy?
Journalist:I buy all kinds, sometimes a normal pen, but I also have good ones.
Candidate:Now when you say great, do you mean great or really great?
Journalist:A very good.
Candidate:What is the most you have spent on a pen?
Candidate:$200? Well, here we have a problem.
Journalist:What is the problem?
Candidate:Well, this pen costs a lot more than that.
Journalist:How much more?
Candidate:This pen here is $1000.
Journalist:$1000!!? For a pen? You're crazy?
Candidate: You're right! Most people don't understand the value of this pen. This pen is the pen of top salespeople and executives, used by many to sign their most important documents. This pen is for a man who wants to make a statement. This is a pen for a man who wants to share amazing stories with his mates. You are?
Journalist:Yes, I want to make a statement with my pen!
Candidate:But you wouldn't spend $1,000 on a pen, would you?
Journalist:Yeah! I have $1000
Candidate:Well, the pen is yours. Congratulations.
#5.Your goal:Wishing a selfless professional
Candidate:How long have you been on the market for a pen?
Journalist:About three months.
Candidate:And how often do you use a pen these days?
Journalist:Not very often, just to sign contracts.
Candidate:And these contracts, are they sales contracts, corporate controls and employment contracts?
Candidate:So these are important moments that indicate the work and progress you have made to get to that point. Therefore, you deserve to have a quality pen. I've only talked to you for a few minutes, but I can sense that you are a professional who sets high standards and expects only the best. This is correct?
Journalist:Yes, that describes me.
Candidate:So you must have the best! Now this pen costs $70.
Journalist:Wow, this is an expensive pen. This pen costs $1.
Candidate:Yeah, but that pen you have there doesn't reflect you as a person. This pen embodies who you are and makes a statement to others about who you are, not only in your appearance but also in the quality of your writing. Don't you want a pen that makes a statement about you?
Journalist:Yes, I like to make a statement.
Candidate:Now I want you to take this pen and try it for seven days and every time you sign a contract or important document, keep in mind that this is a symbol, a moment of all the work you have done and it represents the person you are successful. ! Call me within 7 days if you're not completely satisfied and I'll personally come to your office to pick it up. WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT?
#6.Your goal:Close sales at an accelerated pace (pre-sale)
Candidate:Here, take a look at this pen. Save it for me.
Candidate:Now take a look at this. Take a few minutes to appreciate the details and finishes and feel the quality of the construction.
Journalist:Yes, it is a beautiful pen.
Candidate:Here, take this piece of paper and write the things that you specifically like in this pen.
Journalist:(Write what you want with a pen.)
Candidate:Okay, you like how it feels in your hand, you like the weight, and you like how well it writes. So would you love to have a pen like this?
Journalist:Yes I think so.
Candidate:And would you like it in blue or black?
Candidate:Enjoy your new pen.
#7.Your goal:Selling to a busy professional who doesn't care
Candidate:I see you're looking at our pens. How long have you been looking for a pen?
Journalist:I'm not going to buy today. I'm just looking around. My secretary buys me the pens.
Candidate:I fully understand that you are very busy and therefore can concentrate on your work. But how busy are you? How often do you use a pen?
Journalist:I am a lawyer and I use a pen a lot, at least once a day, to sign important documents.
Candidate:So, whenever you use a pen, do you usually give your clients your pen to sign parts of documents and contracts?
Candidate:And your clients choose you because they value professional work and quality results and want the best representation possible, and that's you.
Journalist:Yes, everyone wants the best representation.
Candidate:And so it should be. But I mean, a pen is not just a pen. The pen you use as a lawyer represents you to your clients. You want a pen that shows your clients that you're the kind of legal professional they need, and a pen like this does exactly that!
Journalist:I want my pen to represent me and convey confidence to my clients. But I don't want to have to buy new pens every time I run out of ink and use it often enough.
Candidate:Well, the good news is that it has replaceable ink cartridges. It only takes seconds to replace the cartridge. Instead of asking your secretary to buy new pens, you can ask her to order refills so you always have enough ink and the same amazing pen that will wow your customers.
Journalist:I think I can do this.
Candidate:Now, you said you're a lawyer, so ink color matters, okay? Do you need blue ink or do you prefer blue and black?
#8.Your goal:Apply for a pressure selling or cold calling job
Candidate:Do you always need to write?
Journalist:Actually. I do most things on my phone or computer.
Candidate:This is how things happen. But you would use a pen once in a while, right?
Candidate:And what are those occasions when you use a pen?
Journalist:Usually birthdays or special events. I enjoy writing handwritten letters and handwritten birthday cards for my family and friends.
Candidate:There's something special about writing, isn't there? These days, most people do everything online, via email instead of letters, etc. But when you take the time to write a letter or card, it really shows you care.
Journalist:Yes, that's why I sometimes use a pen.
Candidate:And when you write letters and cards, you want to be thoughtful and expressive, don't you?
Candidate:So does it make sense to use a comfortable pen that produces beautiful writing with a smooth and presentable ink texture?
Journalist:I like to use a pen that is better than a cheap pen.
Candidate:And this is the pen. It has a clean and elegant look, but it doesn't boast unnecessarily. It writes beautifully, but without being too constructed. It's a good pen that won't let you down or disappear on the last line of a birthday card.
Journalist:How much does it cost?
Candidate:Here, take this paper and try it, and then tell me how much it's worth to you.
Journalist:It is very comfortable in the hand and writes very well. But I don't want to spend a lot. I can buy a pack of Bic pens for $3.
Candidate:Well this pen is $5.99 but it writes better than any other Bic and will outlast a whole pack of Bic pens. What color would you like?
#9.Your goal:Sell to an undifferentiated customer (creating a point of difference)
Candidate:Do you currently have a pen?
Journalist:Yes I have a lot.
Candidate:And is there a pen that you use most often?
Journalist:Yes, I have a favorite pen that I use.
Candidate:What do you usually use a pen for?
Journalist:Just general writing, things like writing in my journal, writing in a journal, and writing my daily to-do lists.
Candidate:So you use a lot of pens?
Candidate:Is there anything you don't like about the pens you're currently using?
Journalist:Well, they're just pens.
Candidate:So that's what you don't like about them, that they're just pens? Or are you saying that you have nothing to dislike about them?
Journalist:I don't have much to dislike about them because they are just pens.
Candidate:Okay, why isn't there anything special or notable about the pens you use?
Journalist:I think it's fair to say that yes, they are ordinary pens.
Candidate:But since you use pens often, like you said, wouldn't it be nice to notice something special about your pen when you use it?
Journalist:Good yes. But I can't imagine liking one pen more than any other.
Candidate:If you could imagine, what would it be? Have you ever borrowed a good pen? What did you notice about it?
Journalist:I once used a very nice pen. It's hard to say what I liked about him. It was slightly heavier than an ordinary fountain pen, and the ink was so smooth and the nib so well drawn that it floated on the page.
Candidate:I have a pen here that does exactly that! Here, save this.
Journalist:Oh yeah wow. I see what you mean.
Candidate:Go ahead and write with him.
Journalist:Is very good.
Candidate:And you deserve it. You write so often that it makes perfect sense to have a pen that is a joy to use.
Journalist:I would like this.
Candidate:Well then, put it in your pocket now.
#10.Your goal:Create an emotional need
Candidate:Have you ever seen something you needed to have?
Journalist:Yeah, don't we all have that?
Candidate:Yes, very true. But what did you see?
Journalist:A hat. I'm a bit of a collector. Not as a professional or amateur collector, but as some people have a lot of shoes. I have many hats, and most of them I wear depending on the day and the weather.
Candidate:That's good. What hat was the one you saw?
Journalist:It was a beret. It was just elegant and made of fine wool felt and the perfect color.
Candidate:So you like the finer things in life?
Journalist:Yes, I like things that are luxurious and that fit into my life.
Candidate:What if I had a fancy pen to fit your life? Something simple but elegant with a fine finish. A discreet eye-catcher, more than a pen, it is an accessory to attract the attention of whoever sees you using it. Shouldn't you just have it?
Journalist:Yes, if you had such a pen, I would at least see it.
Candidate:Well, this is your lucky day because I only have the pen, but it's the last one. They have a very limited supply and are highly sought after by the most demanding customers. Look at this. (Pass them the pen.) This pen is plated in platinum with a brushed titanium clip, a titanium nib, and a titanium shade in the center where it rotates. Being platinum and titanium, it is modern yet timeless and does not tarnish or rust. It is as impressive as a designer watch and with the case in question it perfectly complements your watch.
Journalist:It's really amazing.
Candidate:it's not; Do you also want the lifetime care plan? This means that if it gets damaged or scratched during everyday use, we offer a free reset once a year and unlimited free cleaning. This means that it will always look as perfect as it does now.
Journalist:The care plan doesn't make sense. Let's do it.
Made famous on The Wolf of Wall Street, this question is the ultimate test of sales skills. In the famous scene, Leonardo DiCaprio's character asks his friends the pen question while he is sitting at a diner. The question was one of the most common questions asked in a sales job interview before this one, but the movie made it popular again. All sales professionals should know how to interpret this question with an interviewer, because no answer probably means you didn't pass the interview.
A good salesperson knows that there are many ways to hit a good sales pitch, but the most important thing is to avoid giving the wrong answer. This is a trick question and the average job seeker will be confused. Starting by talking about the characteristics of the pen is the biggest mistake you can make. The correct answer follows a step-by-step process. The first thing is to ask questions about the client to understand their needs and identify them. Then move from the questions to the statement about the features of the pen, the benefits those features provide, and how this benefits the customer. Finally, you have a strong close to secure the sale.
The best approach is to act like you like the question, and then use open-ended questions to assess the customer's needs. Change from questions to statements to create demand. Finally, show the most important part of the sale, a strong close to seal the deal.
Find out which sample answer you like best, and practice it the next time you ask that tough question. Memorize two or three examples to get the correct answer no matter how the question is phrased. Or, the best way to never get stuck is to practice your answer type so that you can always give a real answer if asked that question. Good luck!
Keith Miller has more than 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As an author, Keith's work has been featured in CIO, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer magazines. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, pleasesend a message to our content editing team here.
So, when you are asked to sell a pen, you should start by explaining the unique features of that pen that sets it apart from all other pens. For example, you can say, this pen uses smooth ink which allows you to write easily and quickly. Plus, the pen writes in red ink which helps highlight main points in writing.How do you sell a pen in an interview answer? ›
- Be Confident. Remember, the primary reason your interviewer is asking this is to gauge how well you respond when you feel pressured or caught off guard. ...
- Highlight a Need. ...
- Emphasize the Features and Benefits. ...
- Don't Forget to Close.
- Ask the person what they do. ...
- Acknowledge how important their job is and get them talking about the last time they used a pen. ...
- Highlight an emotional use for the pen. ...
- Hand them back the pen and close the deal.
So, when you are asked to sell a pen, you should start by explaining the unique features of that pen that sets it apart from all other pens. For example, you can say, this pen uses smooth ink which allows you to write easily and quickly. Plus, the pen writes in red ink which helps highlight main points in writing.How do you sell your sell in an interview? ›
- Conduct In-depth Research Beforehand. ...
- Emphasise On Your Updated Skill Set. ...
- Highlight Your Specific Sales Metrics. ...
- Dig into Details. ...
- Aim At Answering The Unasked “So What” Question. ...
- End The Interview On A High Note.
“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”What are your best selling points in an interview? ›
Sit down and list your top selling points. What do you want your interviewer to remember about you? Aim for at least five main points —these can be areas of expertise, key accomplishments, education or training, soft skills, personality qualities, and/or other strengths. For each of these, write a proof statement.