1. Why do interviewers ask, “Sell me this pen”?
  2. How to answer "Sell me this pen"?
    1. Ask questions to understand your customer
    2. Know how to create demand
    3. Talk about customer satisfaction
    4. Create a positive impression of your product
    5. Focus on long-term relations
    6. Know what you are selling
  3. How NOT to answer “Sell me this pen”?
  4. "Sell me this pen" sample answers
    1. Value-added selling approach
    2. Solution-based approach
    3. Problem-creation approach
    4. Cold-call approach
  5. Tips to ace sales interview questions
    1. Research the company
    2. Ask important questions
    3. Keep it professional
    4. Don’t forget the basic interview questions

Preparing for a sales interview but don’t know where to get started?

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Most sales interviews follow the cliche, where you have to demonstrate your sales skills in a hypothetical situation.

Questions like “Sell me this pen” fit perfectly here, making it a frequently asked sales interview question.

And let’s face it, the question may be straight out of The wolf of wall street, but the answer can’t be!

So, here is everything you need to know about how to answer “Sell me this pen” with some sample answers to help you ace your interview like a pro!

Why do interviewers ask, “Sell me this pen”?

Everyone knows that candidates interviewing for sales and marketing roles often face this question, but many don’t know why.

The answer is rather simple!

Through questions like "Sell me this pen", the interviewers want to assess your salesmanship in difficult situations.

The interviewer doesn’t want you to just sell the pen but also want to see how you do it.

Getting this answer right will show your skills and suitability for the job.

Through this question, interviewers want to know:

  1. If you can understand the client’s needs.
  2. If you can build good relations with clients.
  3. If you can perform under pressure.
  4. If you can close the deal with your pitch.

How to answer "Sell me this pen"?

Let's come to the main question.

To ace this sales interview question, you need to stand out with your answer.

Make it happen with these 5 tricks up your sleeves.

1. Ask questions to understand your customer

The more you ask, the more you can learn about your customer's needs, or in this case, the interviewer's.

You can also use this information to understand what you must avoid in your pitch.

Here are some questions you can ask:

1. When was the last time you used a pen?

2. Which pen do you use?

3. What is the best and the worst quality of the pen you are using?

4. Are you fond of collecting pens?

5. What qualities do you look for before buying a pen?

Note: Make sure you only ask some of these questions to gather information. Asking all of them at once will not get you anywhere and confuse both you and the interviewer.

2. Know how to create demand

It may sound like a difficult task, but it is crucial as this is where the action begins.

The most important thing to make a sale is the demand for your product.

So, ask yourself, why do people buy anything?

There are majorly 2 reasons:

  1. Need for the product
  2. Customer satisfaction and happiness

It is easy to sell a product that the customer needs.

But selling a product basis the promise of a unique experience is an art and requires tactics.

To answer "Sell me this pen", you need to tap into a trigger point that makes the customer go after user satisfaction.

Read the next point to understand this in-depth.

3. Talk about customer satisfaction

No matter what product you are dealing with, a good salesman understands how customer satisfaction works.

A buyer is concerned with the product experience more than anything else.

The secret is to spark an emotional connection between your product and the customer.

To make that happen, focus less on the product and more on the customer (interviewer).

Make them feel that buying this pen will add value in their life and make them happy, through experiences and stories.

It is even better if you can quote them to establish the emotional value and utility of the product.

4. Create a positive impression of your product

The best way to make a sales pitch is to understand what the customers like/dislike about the product.

You can use their preferences to help them understand how your product meets their needs, and discuss how it overcomes the shortages of the product they are using currently.

You can also talk about how your product is better than others in the market and what makes it unique.

5. Focus on long-term relations

The worst mistake a salesperson can make is to treat a transaction as a one-time thing.

A good salesperson knows the value of loyal customers and will focus on building a positive rapport to establish long-term relations.

You need to do the same thing with your interviewer.

6. Know what you are selling

When answering "Sell me this pen", make sure you learn a few things about the product itself.

Even though we said focus less on features, you must know what you are selling.

Make sure you are informed about the product's features and can answer the questions asked by the interviewer about the same.

How NOT to answer “Sell me this pen”?

  1. Do not waste time talking about the features without knowing what the client wants.
  2. Do not follow a script. Customize your answers and ask questions to get your cues to get through the sale.
  3. Do not make vague guesses. Instead, quote the interviewer's narrative to support your product.
  4. Do not try to close the deal on a negative note. Focus on building relations.
  5. Do not brag or lie about the product. Everyone knows that the pen you are selling doesn’t have superpowers.
  6. Do not give in to the pressure. The interviewers will make the situation hostile but focus on getting through the interview with reason and a smile.

"Sell me this pen" sample answers

We will discuss these sample answers with 4 crucial sales approaches.

Value-added selling approach

This is a direct approach that is product-centric and doesn't necessarily consider what the customer needs.

The focus is on the making the product desirable with its USPs and qualities that add value.

Sample answer 1

This pen is unique for many reasons. For starters, it stands out with its built and looks.

The pen is made of high-quality fiber, and the rose gold tint adds panache to it.

And this is not even the best part.

The XYZ pen is a smart choice as it is efficient and easy to maintain with refillable cartridges, making it a one-time investment.

Unless, of course, you wish to buy more of these, which I'm sure you will be tempted to once you have used it.

Solution-based approach

This approach is customer-centric and focuses on the needs of the buyer.

It works better and allows the salesperson to talk about the pain point of the customer, allowing them to present the product as a direct solution.

Sample answer 2

Since you have to write a lot, I understand a comfortable, smooth pen is of utmost importance to you.

The XYZ pen is not only easy to hold, but its seamless tip makes writing an enjoyable experience instead of a task.

You don’t even have to worry about getting refills for the pen as it comes with cartridges that will easily last a year.

I can assure you that buying this pen is a decision you will cherish!

Sample answer 3

If I’m not mistaken, you are currently using the ABC pen. Are you satisfied with it?
….

I would recommend our QPR pen which is not only light-weight and writes seamlessly, but is also long-lasting and doesn’t leak, as you mentioned is a problem you are facing with the pen you are using now.

You can also choose from our wide range of colors to make sure your pen matches your personality.

Problem-creation approach

One of the more effective methods, the problem-creation approach, gives more control to the salesperson.

The idea is to find a problem with the customer's product and produce your product as a solution for the same.

The tricky part is that you will have to come up with a problem that was in their hindsight but has a direct effect, and can be solved with your product.

Sample answer 4:

Which pen do you use generally?

Oh! But doesn’t that pen leave deep impressions and mess up the back of the page? Oh, you haven’t noticed?

Why don’t you give it a try?

Would you like to try our ABC pen? It’s light on the paper and writes like a feather.

Moreover, next time when you write, you won’t have to worry about losing the other side of the page.

Can I interest you in buying one of these?

Cold-call approach

Ever received calls from banks for credit cards? That is what cold calling is.

Salespeople reach out to people who may show no interest in buying their product but are potential customers.

This method is highly unpredictable, but the good part is that you get to make an impression from scratch.

Sample answer 5

I’m from ABC pens, and we are trying to understand the corporate trend of stationary.

We are keen on finding out what irks people about the pens that they use?
…..
That is insightful! I do have a pen that could be ideal for you.

Would you be interested to know more?

Tips to ace sales interview questions

A sales interview, like any other interview, is simple to crack if you prepare well.

Here are some tips to guide you through your next sales interview.

1. Research the company

Before you appear for your interview, research the company’s values, missions, and targets.

AmbitionBox can help you find all you need to know about the company through ratings and reviews shared by employees.

Direct employee feedback can give you clarity, if your answers should be target-oriented, customer-centric, or concerned with the product.

Also read: Why Should We Read Reviews Before Joining a Company?

2. Ask important questions

Asking questions is the best way to get further clarity on what you are signing up for.

Ask relevant questions to understand the process, targets, quarterly revenue, timelines, and everything else that seems important.

3. Keep it professional

Even though you are in an interview when asked to showcase your sales skills, do it like you would in a sales meeting.

This would allow the interviewer to understand your sales approach and give you a better picture of what it would be like to work for the company.

4. Don’t forget the basic interview questions

As you prepare for sales interview questions, don't forget to practice basic interview questions, no matter what.

Prepare for questions like Tell me about yourself , Why should we hire you , What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? , and even salary negotiation .

Also read: 56 HR Interview Questions And Answers Asked Frequently.

In the end, just remember that it is not about selling the pen, but about showing your salesmanship.

So before you go for the interview, practice answering this question until you are ready to face it.

All the best!

Interview Advice