How to Sell a Pen. Some Advice for B2B Marketers
B2B Marketers Need to Know How To Sell
Today, more than ever, B2B marketers need to know how to sell. In fact, if a marketer doesn’t have experience selling it’s a key weakness…well actually an opportunity! The disconnect between sales and marketing is one of the reasons why tech marketers need to develop their sales skills. Every year we hear about how content being produced by marketers is fluff, that leads aren’t “qualified” and that IT buyers (especially developers) cringe at the sound of “marketing”. While this is harsh and there are some stellar marketers out there…. it’s a reality we must face…and address.
Sell Me This Pen (language warning)
So here’s an exercise to try whether you’re a marketing or sales professional. It’s a very easy role playing exercise. There are three critical things to think about: 1) Ask questions, 2) What’s the sales situation (who are you selling the pen to and in what context/use case) and 3) You’re going to have to explain the value proposition and benefit.
The "Sell Me This Pen" Job Interview Scenario
I came across this update on LinkedIn which inspired this post. The interviewer asks you to “sell me this pen”. First, ask questions about the interview process, whether s/he uses a pen etc. Explore and identify the problems and pains the interviewer will experience if s/he doesn’t have pen. Provide some examples of how it would be better if s/he had one. You might explain the value of using a pen as follows:
This pen will help you record our conversation and any insights you gather during our interview. You can use the pen to highlight key sections in my resume that stand out, concern you and that you want to seek further clarification on.
Your notes can then be shared with your colleagues prior to them interviewing me in the next round. They are free to use the pen (I have more if you need some) also so they can share their notes with you so you can make an informed decision about my joining your team.
By using this pen you’ll better remember the important things about me and whether I’m a good fit for your organization. It’s a tool for you, and your team, to gather the right information and make the right decision. Once you’ve decided to hire me we can use it to sign the offer letter.
Check out how the real “Wolf of Wallstreet”, Jordan Belfort, sells a pen to Piers Morgan.