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6 New Perspectives to “Sell Me This Pen”


6 New Perspectives to “Sell Me This Pen”

Written by: Brian Stahlhut Christiansen, Cofounder of Milestone Selling

I really enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street, but now I see people sharing the movie and the characters as role models for salespeople. I think you can learn a lot about what not to do, from the movie.  Let me explain…

In the scene “Sell me this pen” you’ll see a quick example of how to create a need by manipulation. Here’s three examples of how it works:

  • When your prospect is explaining something, ask: “Could you draw a sketch of that?” and see what happens.
  • Ask a rhetorical question: “How would you remember an important number right now?”, or:
  • “Could you please write your name for me?” (for no reason but to sell the pen)

These just might work, but your buying customer would feel tricked afterwards.

What I would suggest is to be aware that prospects don’t necessarily need what you are selling. And to remember that if they do actually need it, the reason for the need is individual.

A great way to see this, is the SPACED-model, listing six typical buying needs, you’ll find most of your customers reason(s) for buying in one or more of those six.

Related: 8 Winning Questions You Should Be Asking Every Prospect

SPACED Benefits and how to sell a pen better:

  • Safety: “What would happen if that pen in your pocket leaked?” – to have the prospect imagine the disaster of a big blue spot on the shirt.
  • Performance: “What kind of paper do you use?” – to investigate if a better performing would be better for the prospects kind of paper.
  • Appearance: “What would you like your pen to say about you?” – to let the prospect on his or her image and how a pen should match that image.
  • Comfort: “How does your hand feel when you sign Christmas cards with that pen?” – to motivate your prospect to think about situations where comfort is important.
  • Economy: “How often do you buy ink and what’s the price tag?” – to have your prospect do the math (Not a Sales Ev favorite).
  • Durability: “What will your pen look like in 10 years?” – to make your prospect think ahead to the future.

These questions will not sell anything, but they will let your prospects see if they need what you want them to buy.

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