Have you attended an interview before and the panel says to you “Sell me this pen” Very cliché questioning right? However, they almost always ask that same question in all sales interviews. I have also been asked several times myself, even requested by organizations seeking my training solution.
Fundamentally, this question betrays a deep-seated confusion about the functional understanding of sales.
Sales is not aggression! Sales is not undue persuasion. Selling is not sweet-talking. These are the things the questioner or interviewer expects to see when he or she asks the question. It explains why many companies and hiring managers hire the wrong kind of salespeople simply because they could sweet-talk them into believing they are capable of 100% sales.
Sales is offering solutions that are fit enough to solve the buyer’s problems and helping the buyer to see the value of it. If selling is fitting the solution rather than just offering it, then some work has got to be done before you ever show up in front of the prospect.
As a matter of fact, for many successful sales, more than 50% of selling happens before you meet the buyer.
When a solution is to a problem, and you employ the voice of existing customers in giving testimonials about the results that the solution produces, you will not always have to push your sales.
Rather than being that sales guys who want to shove anything down the throat of everyone be the one who invests his time dimensioning the problem and then fitting the solution squarely to the problem. Sometimes, it is even necessary and by far more respectable and professional to walk away when there is no fit between the already dimensioned problem and the solution that you sell. This almost always lands you a better future deal.