The Impressive Response to “Sell Me This Pen”

The Best ( Most Unique) Response to Sell Me This Pen _ MediaOne Marketing Singapore

Have you ever been in an interview and asked the question, “Sell me this pen?” Interviewers often use this question to test your sales skills and how you handle pressure.

Many people tend to panic and give generic answers, but what if you could provide a unique and impressive response?

In this article, we will discuss the best and most unique response to “Sell me this pen.” We will look at your different approaches and how to tailor your response to the person asking the question.

Moving forward, you may even have a more personalised approach to handling this question at an interview. It may seem difficult, but the key to getting a star answer is keeping it simple, witty and do-able.

The Best (& Most Unique) Response to "Sell Me This Pen"

“How can I convince my customer to buy my pen?”

When you ask yourself this question, you get a trigger to a flow you must follow. When you’re in business marketing, you’d know that there are strategies and techniques you need to learn, experience and experiment with when ‘selling’

Pretty easy, right? Well, you’re just getting started.

Ask Questions to Understand the Customer’s Needs

The first approach you can take is to ask questions to understand the customer’s needs. The pen may be a simple writing tool, but it can be used for different purposes. Some people use pens for work, while others use them for leisure activities like drawing or journaling.

Asking questions will help you understand the customer’s needs and tailor your response accordingly. For example, you could ask questions like:

  • What type of work do you do?
  • Do you prefer a pen with a thick or thin tip?
  • Do you need a pen that can write on different surfaces?
  • Are you looking for a pen with a specific colour or design?

By asking these questions, you can tailor your response to the customer’s needs and highlight the features of the pen that will be most beneficial to them.

Highlight the Features and Benefits of the Pen

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Once you have understood the customer’s needs, the next step is to highlight the features and benefits of the pen. You should focus on the features that are most relevant to the customer and explain how they will benefit from them.

For example, if the customer is looking for a pen to use for work, you could highlight the following features:

  • A comfortable grip for extended use
  • A refillable ink cartridge to save money on replacements
  • A durable tip that can withstand heavy use

By highlighting these features, you are showing the customer that the pen is not just a simple writing tool but a product that can improve their work experience and save them money in the long run.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency is another effective approach to selling a pen. You can do this by highlighting the limited availability of the pen or the fact that it is a popular item that is selling out fast.

For example, you could say:

  • “This pen has been extremely popular, and we only have a few left in stock.”
  • “This pen is part of a limited edition collection and will not be restocked once it sells out.”

Creating a sense of urgency will motivate the customer to make a decision quickly and not risk missing out on the product.

Use Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool that can help you sell a pen. You can use a personal story or a customer success story to demonstrate the value of the pen.

For example, you could say:

  • “I recently had a customer who was struggling to find a pen that was comfortable to use for extended periods. I recommended this pen, and she was amazed at how comfortable it was. She now uses it for all her work-related tasks.”
  • “I used to struggle with finding a pen that wrote smoothly on all surfaces. I discovered this pen, and it has been a game-changer for me. I can now write on any surface without any issues.”

By using storytelling, you are creating a personal connection with the customer and showing them how the pen has helped others in similar situations.

Demonstrate the pen’s features

Another effective way to sell a pen is to demonstrate its features. This approach is particularly useful if the pen has unique or innovative features that are not commonly found in other pens.

For example, if the pen has a built-in flashlight, you could demonstrate how it can be useful in low-light conditions. If the pen has a stylus, you could demonstrate how it can be used on a tablet or phone.

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Demonstrating the pen’s features will help the customer understand its capabilities and how it can benefit them.

Use Humour

Using humour can be a risky approach, but if done correctly, it can be very effective in selling a pen. Humour can help break the tension and create a relaxed atmosphere, making the customer more receptive to your sales pitch.

For example, you could say:

  • “This pen is so good; it’ll make your handwriting look like calligraphy.”
  • “This pen is so durable; it could survive a trip to the moon.”

Using humour shows the customer that you are confident in your product and can create a positive experience that will make them more likely to make a purchase.

Offer a Solution to a Problem

People buy products to solve a problem or fulfil a need. If you can identify a problem that the customer is facing, you can offer a solution using the pen.

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For example, if the customer is struggling with organisation, you could say:

  • “This pen comes with a built-in clip that you can use to attach it to your notebook or planner. It’s a small feature, but it can help you stay organised and keep your pen within reach.”

By offering a solution to a problem, you are demonstrating the value of the pen and showing the customer how it can make their life easier.

When Did the “Sell Me This Pen” Interview Question Start?

Where Do "Sell Me This Pen" Interview Questions Start? | MediaOne Marketing Singapore

When it comes to job interviews, some questions seem to be universal.

One of the most common is the request to “sell me this pen.” It’s a simple enough request, but it can be surprisingly difficult to answer. The purpose of this question is to test the interviewee’s sales skills, but where did it come from and why is it used so frequently?

The Origin

The “sell me this pen” question has been around for quite some time, and its origins can be traced back to the classic 1990 movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” In the film, the main character, Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, asks a group of salespeople to sell him a pen. While the question is only a minor moment in the movie, it has become something of a cultural phenomenon.

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In reality, the question has been a part of sales training for decades. It’s a way to test a salesperson’s ability to think on their feet, communicate effectively, and close a sale. However, it wasn’t until “The Wolf of Wall Street” that the question became a common fixture in job interviews across a wide range of industries.

The Purpose

The purpose of the “sell me this pen” interview question is to test the interviewee’s sales skills. Even if the job in question isn’t a sales position, being able to sell is a valuable skill in any industry. If you can sell a pen, you can sell just about anything.

When an interviewer asks you to sell them a pen, they’re not looking for a specific answer. They’re looking to see how you approach the question, how you communicate with the interviewer, and how you close the sale.

They want to see if you can identify the customer’s needs, highlight the benefits of the product, and persuade the customer to make a purchase.

What is the idea behind ‘sell me this pen’?

The “sell me this pen” question is important for a few reasons. First, it tests the interviewee’s ability to communicate effectively and persuasively. In any job, being able to communicate with coworkers, clients, and customers is essential, and the “sell me this pen” question is a good way to test those skills.

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Second, the question tests the interviewee’s ability to think on their feet. In many jobs, unexpected challenges can arise, and employees need to be able to adapt quickly. By asking the “sell me this pen” question, interviewers can get a sense of how well the interviewee can think on their feet and come up with creative solutions.

Finally, the question tests the interviewee’s ability to close a sale. Whether you’re selling a product or pitching an idea, being able to close a deal is a valuable skill in any industry. The “sell me this pen” question gives interviewers a chance to see how well the interviewee can close a sale, even if they’ve never sold a pen before.

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Real-World Examples of “Sell Me This Pen” Questions

Real-World Examples of "Sell Me This Pen" Questions | MediaOne Marketing Singapore

“Sell me this pen” questions are used in a wide range of industries, from tech to finance to retail. Here are a few real-world examples of how this question might be used in different contexts:

  • Sales: In a sales job interview, the interviewer might ask you to sell them a pen to test your ability to close a sale.
  • Marketing: If you’re applying for a marketing job, the interviewer might ask you to come up with a marketing campaign for a pen.
  • Finance: In a finance job interview, the interviewer might ask you to explain the financial benefits of investing in a pen manufacturing company.
  • Retail: If you’re applying for a retail job, the interviewer might ask you to sell them a pen to see how you interact with customers.
  • Tech: In a tech job interview, the interviewer might ask you to come up with a new technology that could revolutionize the way pens are made and sold.

This is how you sell the pen

The approaches to selling the pen can go on and on with twists and curves and you still won’t get to sell the pen if you do not apply said approaches to your advantage. 

You can ask all the questions to understand the customer’s needs and they may still not buy the pen – why? That is because they don’t need it ‘yet’. So, create a sense of urgency, and make the pen seem important. Everyone knows the purpose of a pen – but, why do they need it? It’s a circle of negotiation and persuasion.

So, don’t just ask questions about what pens the customers have used in the past or what type of pens they own now. Ask them about their history of ownership of pens, what are the challenges they’ve faced with the pens they owned and make them need the pen you are holding.

But if they go ahead and say, “I don’t need a pen.” As a salesman, you don’t go right ahead and ram it down their throat to buy the pen. Salesmen do not bother to sell something customers don’t need. But, if you see a customer browsing through the pens on display, this is something else entirely. They ‘need’ something – this is the concept behind The Wolf of Wall Street – you know the value of your time when you’re selling.

If a customer doesn’t want the pen, you move on to the next one. No time wasted; yours or the customer’s. Jordon Belfort explained that the concept behind the interview challenge isn’t to sell the pen but to see how good a salesperson is – how well he can sell, how he manages his clients and customers and how good he is at using his time to sell.

A salesperson isn’t just good because he sells a lot, but he is also good because how he can generate good leads out of the ‘customers’ who didn’t want the pen. They won’t need the pen now, but good sales and marketing are something people remember. When they need the pen, they’ll go back to the seller who ‘accommodated’ them the best. Not the ‘most’, but the ‘best’.



In conclusion, the best and most unique response to “Sell me this pen” is to tailor your response to the customer’s needs and use a combination of the approaches discussed above.

By asking questions, highlighting features and benefits, creating a sense of urgency, using storytelling, demonstrating the pen’s features, using humour, and offering a solution to a problem, you can create a compelling sales pitch that will impress the interviewer and demonstrate your sales skills.

Remember, the key to selling a pen is not to focus on the pen itself but on the value it provides to the customer. By understanding the customer’s needs and demonstrating how the pen can fulfil those needs, you can create a positive experience that will make the customer more likely to make a purchase.

So next time you are asked to sell a pen, don’t panic. Use these approaches to create a unique and impressive response that will demonstrate your sales skills and make you stand out from the crowd.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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