Sell Me This Pen. Some Advice for Technology Marketers

by Chris Herbert June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016

Technology Marketers Need to Know How To Sell


Sell me this pen


Today, more than ever, technology 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.


Sell Me This Pen



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. Sell me this pen2The “sell me this pen” question is asked during an interview, which sets the sales situation. The line of questions to ask could be the problem/pain the interviewer would experience if s/he didn’t have the pen and how it would be better if s/he had one. Perhaps something like this:



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.


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