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Михаил Певзнер
Why do "Sell Me a Pen" is Wrong (LinkedIn) 
20-окт-2017 01:38 am

Why do "Sell Me a Pen" is Wrong

I see you looking at me surprised. Why it is wrong after all?

It is the all-fit question on almost every interview of a salesperson, isn't it?

It isn't.

I need to know what pen I am trying to sell

How on Earth I can sell you a pen with no qualities? It's impossible.

I could carry gold-engraved pen to every meeting and "sell" it. For dimes. Does it count in?

In real life, selling requires studying the object of sale for the obvious and popping qualities. Quantity counts in too: it's a quality of this kind.

Reality is salesperson must know the range of sellable products, and be able to offer the best product the buyer can get now. Or not the best, but affordable.

The knowledge is inferior and subject to the ability, but the last doesn't exist without.

You need to provide thruthful answers

You could lie in the answers to the most outright kind of questions. Like: "Do you have any, although little, problems with your pen right now?" It understandable in real work, as the way to slip away from salesman. Yeah.

But then I leave a clue there may be a better deal, and you do nothing. Goodbye-goodbye (to the work interview), and you are finally remembering you got a problem.

Litle shaming comes always handy. In real life, not in test.

In test, you will be upset some upstart questioning Your Majesty. It's inevitable. But it makes the task of selling a pen magnitudes away harder.

Reality is most sales occur when the parties see or hear each other, prefferably both. Only then it allows to really sell. Selling with no knowledge of the buyer is as impossible as for buyer to acquire suitable product without answering. Unless the buyer knows exactly what he needs. (Buying helpers, I'm looking at you!)

I shall not close the deal

"Closing the deal" means the ability to fix price, volume, date, and move on. Then the contract take place.

In other words, if I'm able to close the deal, I could lie to you on product qualities, on quantities I can provide, and date it will arrive in real life. I cannot lie on price, oh, wait, I can!

What happens next to the signed contract depends on the jurisdiction. In Britain aforementioned behavior will be called representations, and due fees will be levied. In less strict jurisdiction you could get away with the contract, but the contact nevertheless would be wasted.

Reality is you should never close the contract. Unless you have, as in Russia said, many rabbits to make some sexual things on. It's rarely like this.

It is impossible to know what are you trying to test

Well, I'm think we are done what in real life means to sell a pen. It is not like something you try to test. Isn't it? If 1you are an aspiring candidate—look at the next section.

Let's call the thing the thing—the test task lays out as following:

Reality is you either test against your, your competitors, or prospect product (A), or against some fiction one (B).

In (A):

* Every thing a candidate says could be an invention. Scrapping such an invention is a plagiarasm.
* Make a brief in at least 2 variations: a half-page long, and 3-page long. Issue every on request.
* Don't punish to the things not clearly brieffed, unless you are hiring a salesperson experienced in your field.

In (B):

* Select a product famous through the films or games, so everyone at the table knows what to sell.
* Be ready to change, if a candidate haven't watched such a film. You could require list of favourite films, before the interview.
* Don't punish for what is hid in the film or game.

How to sell

Try these:

* Lie on the outermost qualities: Make it a spacemarine pen, able to pierce an enemy in a second.
* Make it unique: It is the pen such the Great man as you has been holding!
* Put conditions over interviewer: Ask about everything, sooner or later it will happen your opponent has darts-for-pen room. It's a fashion this month!
* Lay out the question of sell, and start to discuss your bonus: What pen, I thought you bought it long ago!
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