This is a common question in job interviews to evaluate sales expertise and communication skills. When you’re asked to sell a pen, it’s all too easy to focus on that pen. You might be tempted to talk about its many features with expressions like: “this is a great pen, this pen writes upside down, this pen is the cheapest pen on earth, and this pen will never run out”. There will be a lot of good reasons why the pen is better; however, it’s a big mistake.
If you are trying to sell solutions instead of products, maybe you start talking like: “This pen is always there when you need to write down a note”’. It is not too bad; but is still the wrong way. If you start talking about the pen, you’ve fallen into a trap.
You should start “qualifying” your customer, so your sales pitch is the act of getting to know something about your buyer, you need to know about the people and what their needs are, for example: “I would like to learn more about how you use a pen during your daily work, What kind of pens do you use?, When was the last time you used a pen?, How much does cost matter to you?”.
Without knowing their situation, needs, and values wanted, you become a show-person. After this qualification, you can tell your customer about what you have, because you’re filling a need; here you make the case that what you’re selling meets those needs. Remember, it’s about custom-tailoring your sales approach based on their specific needs and goals.
Finally, don’t forget to close the sale, summarize the main points you made and why they should move forward with placing an order.