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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Sell Me This Pen Idea

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Ian Adams talks us through how to answer an interview question common for sales positions. Ahead of a large number of interviews, Adams figured he'd eventually get asked to "Sell me this pen," and thought about how to answer in terms of what it shows about the prospective salesman. His answer is worth the quick read and it illustrates the four attributes the interviewers are trying to gauge when they ask the question:

Image by Markus Spiske, via Unsplash,
  1. How you gather information,
  2. How you respond to information,
  3. How you deliver information, and
  4. How you ask for something.
So far, so good. What I found useful in the piece was the importance of value. Implicit in the question is the following challenge: "Figure out why I value pens and what further value this one can offer me."

Considering how the pen has been useful in the past offers a clue, as does considering the ways one could improve on pens of the past. Beyond this, it should be obvious that the lesson generalizes well beyond pens, whether or not the primary emphasis of our career is on selling things.

-- CAV

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