1. You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on your commitment will always be in question.
2. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is loyal and who isn’t.
3. When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you.
4. When your employer replaces you after six months and ‘lets you go’, it’ll be harder to turn them around than it was for them to turn you around.
5. Accepting a counter offer is an insult to your intelligence. You didn’t know what was best for you.
6. Accepting a counter offer is a blow to your personal pride, knowing you were ‘bought’.
7. Accepting a counter offer rarely changes the factors that drove you to look for a new job in the first place.
8. Where is the money for the counter offer coming from? Is it your next pay rise early?
9. Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, there is a ninety percent chance you will be out of the job within six months.
10. What type of a company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you’re worth?
11. Why didn’t they pay you that before? It was because they didn’t think you were worth it.
I personally never thought anyone would actually say, “sell me this pen” in a sales interview. I was wrong. It will happen to you too. And to avoid panic, you should know exactly what to say back.
I am going to give you the right sales framework to respond perfectly every time.
On a quick side note, did you know this sales interview question has been around for millions of years? Its origins date back to the earliest of cavemen. Selling slingshots cave-to-cave. Except back then, they asked, “sell me this bowl of crushed berries.”
Anyways. The point is, one day it will happen to you and I want you to be prepared.
Because if you start to describe how smooth the pen feels and how shiny the pen looks, just like you saw in the Wolf of Wallstreet…
You probably won’t get the job.
Why it matters to sell me this pen
At first, I didn’t realize why it mattered. It just seemed like a silly question. But, you’ll see.
When you become good at answering this question, you actually become one hell of a salesperson.
And that’s why people still ask it in interviews. It shows your creative approach and how good you are at actually selling product (not just reading your resume).
There are exactly four sales skills the interviewer is looking to see when you answer:
- how you gather information
- how you respond to information
- how you deliver information
- and how you ask for something (closing)
Now, since I had a lot of sales interviews lined up at the beginning of last year. I thought, I better practice my response just in case.
The “just wing it” strategy is best for making pancake mix, not for sales interviews.
So let’s go through exactly what you can say to address each sales skill. Because when you do it right, you will blow their mind!
Here’s exactly what you can say
Just to back up for a second, I had 26 sales interviews in a period of three months. Someone was bound to ask me.
Ok. The Director of Sales stood up and said, “it was great meeting you Ian. Let me go grab the CEO to come in next.” Moments later, the CEO of the 30 person startup walked in the small conference room.
Shortly after initial greetings, the CEO wasted no time to start the interview.
I practiced my answer beforehand. I made sure my answer displayed the four sales skills the CEO needed to hear.
Now you can read it for yourself. And then use it for yourself.
At the bottom, you can see a simple sales framework to memorize that will make this work for you in any situation.
You can memorize the script, but more importantly, memorize the sales framework at the end.
Here you go…
CEO: Do me a favor, sell me this pen. (reaches across to hand me the pen)
Me: (I slowly roll the pen between my index and thumb fingers.) When was the last time you used a pen?
CEO: This morning.
Me: Do you remember what kind of pen that was?
Me: Do you remember why you were using it to write?
CEO: Yes. Signing a few new customer contracts.
Me: Well I’d say that’s the best use for a pen (we have a subtle laugh).
Wouldn’t you say signing those new customer contracts is an important event for the business? (nods head) Then shouldn’t it be treated like one. What I mean by that is, here you are signing new customer contracts, an important and memorable event. All while using a very unmemorable pen.
We grew up, our entire lives, using cheap BIC pens because they get the job done for grocery lists and directions. But we never gave it much thought to learn what’s best for more important events.
This is the pen for more important events. This is the tool you use to get deals done. Think of it as a symbol for taking your company to the next level. Because when you begin using the right tool, you are in a more productive state of mind, and you begin to sign more new customer contracts.
Actually. You know what? Just this week I shipped ten new boxes of these pens to Elon Musk’s office.
Unfortunately, this is my last pen today (reach across to hand pen back to CEO). So, I suggest you get this one. Try it out. If you’re not happy with it, I will personally come back next week to pick it up. And it won’t cost you a dime.
What do you say?
CEO: (picks jaw up off floor) Yes.
See how simple that was. The CEO loved it. Why?
Because all four sales skills were displayed.
Here’s the simple sales framework I used to answer “sell me this pen”. Memorize it for yourself.
- Find out how they last used a pen (gather info)
- Emphasize the importance of the activity they last used a pen (respond to info)
- Sell something bigger than a pen, like a state of mind (deliver info)
- Ask for the buy (closing)
Does that make sense? Yes. Ok, good.
Remember, it’s not about actually selling a pen. It’s about showing how well you can sell a product.
And even though there are an infinite number of answers to this interview question, it’s easy to memorize a simple formula.
Now that you have a formula, next time you need a quick, go-to answer, remember the Senator Club formula.
Take 15 minutes today to practice the script above. I promise you will benefit.
Plus, would you mind doing me a favor. Share this with ONE person in sales. It could save their career
Linkedin is the professional networking site and is a tool for establishing online image and network. Follow these steps to learn how to properly develop your LinkedIn profile.
Set up Your Profile
- Professional “headline”: After your name , this is the first line viewers will see. Try to go beyond simply putting “Account Executive” in your headline.
- Photo: This is the first image a viewer will have of you. Be mindful of the image you want to project and be sure that it is appropriate for the audience who will be viewing it.
- Linkedin URL: Claim your personalized URL. for example: www.linkedin.com/in/justinkane
- Summary: Use this section to highlight your key work experience and accomplishments.
- Experience: This should include experiences that are relevant to your career goals. You can include activities and leadership roles in this section. Give a brief description of your position, the dates you worked, and the name of the organization at which you worked (Do not write a description of the company in this section. LinkedIn already does this).
- Education: include, in reverse chronological order, University and any other Schools or programs.
- Additional Sections & Information: You can choose to add additional sections to your profile or incorporate this information in your education, experience of summary sections:
- Sample Additional Sections: Languages, volunteer experiences, courses, certifications, publications, honors & awards, personal website, groups and associations, interests, skills and expertise.
- Applications: Linkiedin Applications enable you to enrich your profile. Available applications include Creative Portfolio Display, Blog Link, WordPress, Company Buzz. etc.
Join as many Linkedin groups as are of interest to you. You will be included in periodic emails from these groups, and be able to ask questions of and reply to questions o f others in the group.
- Sample: University Groups and company groups.
- Industry & Interest Groups: There are groups for every industry and interest area. Use the search tool to identify ones that fit your interests.
Populate Your Profile with Connections
The Bigger your network, the easier it will be to connect to others in a broad variety of fields and locations. Start by searching fro people you already know in the Advance Search section and sending them an invitation to connect. Make sure to customize your invitation. Potential people to include in your network are: friends, relatives, High School and College classmates, current and former professors or teachers, co-workers and supervisors.
It’s best to connect only with the people you know and or have met in person. Most people won’t accept an invitation to connect from someone they’ve never met. Keep in mind that the online networking is a supplement (not a replacement) to in-person relationship building.
The world as we know it has never felt so small. Especially with the recent advances in communication technology, it feels as though everyone and everything is connected with a click of a button. You want to look up an old friend from college, just type in the name. You want to know who this girl is your pal is looking to date, bring up the search bar. It has become a constantly updating encyclopedia of people ranging from fifteen to seventy five years old. Without this resource, you are clueless as to what is going on around you. You don’t get party invites via mail anymore; instead you receive a Facebook event invite. You don’t need to make any more scrapbooks because uploading the pictures you want people to see was never easier than it is now.
If you don’t have a social media account, you have been put at a disadvantage. You get news slower and schedule changes less frequently. You hear less gossip and see less of other people’s lives. Obviously this could come as a blessing to some that hate the constant connection to everyone else. Those who couldn’t care to stay involved with other people may not see the necessity of having a social media account. I know first hand how social media can destroy relationships between friends, colleagues, teammates and even family. One negative post leads to another. It eventually creates a horrible situation to be involved in. Everything stated is permanently on the web. Everything you post can be found. So there is a liability aspect to the social media system.
However, like many large scale things like social media, there are going to be problems for some people that cannot be solved other than by self-regulation. It is quickly becoming the next “cell phone” or “computer” of this day and age. If you do not own a computer or a cell phone, it is like you do not exist. You have little record of communication. Imagine trying to get in touch with someone who doesn’t have an email, phone number, or Facebook account. If it is urgent, good luck. Facebook has become the way of communication if you do not have someone’s phone number, or email. It is a quick way to locate someone that you need to get in contact with.
Social media is only evolving and expanding. Whether you like that or not, you have to accept that this is the future. Those who don’t adapt to the surrounding changes will not be able to survive in the ever-changing world.
Hiring is up across the U.S., and that means you’ll be competing with the country’s biggest, most reputable technology companies for top talent. Are you prepared to find the brightest candidates for your business?
Partnering with a recruiting firm can ensure your success. However, don’t settle for firms that take the easy way out. Too many recruiters simply review an old stack of resumes and send you the candidates who seem like a relevant fit.
Surfacing the best employees for your business involves more than just finding bodies to fill empty seats. Your recruiter’s job is to identify the candidates who will take your company to the next level. That’s why you should partner with Woodbridge World Wide.
A full-service executive search firm catering to the technology sector, Woodbridge World Wide learns exactly what you are looking for in a hire and finds the perfect match. Furthermore, we don’t force you to adapt to our way of working. We learn your recruiting process and put it into action.
Justin Kane, the company’s founder, understands what it means to succeed in this industry and the ever-changing business climate. He knows what it takes to build pipelines, sell major technology platforms to retailers, and hit sales goals even during turbulent times.
Beyond that, he is fully aware of the challenges that come with making career changes. All of that life experience allows him to relate to you and potential hires, ensuring a better fit. Here is what Justin and the Woodbridge World Wide team will do for you:
- We recruit specifically for you. You won’t find us scanning old resumes in hopes that the right candidate appears, and we don’t rely on Monster and CareerBuilder to find talent. We take part in exclusive and contingent-level searches to find candidates with specific backgrounds in your location. We search, screen, qualify, and present to you only the candidates who meet your requirements.
- We network. 90% of recruits aren’t even thinking about looking for a new job. That’s a lot of gifted people that your average recruiting firm will never reach. We invest time and effort into building a pipeline of candidates. We attend trade shows and networking events to meet the top talent in the industry. We leverage social media. We aren’t afraid to pick up the phone and establish a relationship with desirable candidates—even when they aren’t looking. We do whatever it takes to get the A players in front of you.
- We become your third-party negotiator. Candidates are more willing to tell us what you must do to convince them to make a career move. No longer do you have to figure out how to motivate a candidate to join your team. We do it for you.
- We can fill all your positions. We specialize in the industry—not specific positions—so we can recruit top talent for your supply chain, warehousing, retail and marketing areas. We have a proven track record filling more general marketing, sales, executive sales and finance positions, as well as more specialized positions, including Forward Developer Engineers that are tech heavy but also customer facing and Integration Engineers with an emphasis in or around technologies such as HTML5 or Java.
Woodbridge World Wide has already made a mark in the industry as a search firm that helps to build technology companies that sell into retail. Let us help you find the industry’s most exceptional talent with our retained, priority and contingency search services.