Sell Me This Pen

“Sell me this pen.”

The problem?

“Sell me this pen” implies that it’s the salesperson’s job to talk people into buying a pen.

When you intend to sell pens to everyone you try to persuade by saying things like this:

“This pen writes underwater!”
“It easily adapts to your hand.”
“The ink lasts five years!”

Whenever people feel the push, they enter the Zone of Resistance. The ZOR is a reflex reaction to salespeople pushing their point of view. “I know what you need. Let me give it to you.”

Here’s the most important thing about sales.

People don’t buy because they understand you. They buy because you understand them.

Imagine that you’re a scientist, not a salesperson.

Scientists approach experiments from a place of not knowing.

They form a hypothesis, test, reflect and adjust until they reach the truth.
It is like a mystery unfolding.

Scientists are indifferent to the outcome. Experiments just are.
Good and bad experiments are part of being a scientist.

Here’s what selling like a scientist sounds like:

Prospect: “Sell me this pen.”

Salesperson: “The pen you’re holding?”

Prospect: “Yes.”

Salesperson: “It seems like you want a new pen.”

Prospect: “Not really I have pens.”

Salesperson: “It sounds like you have lots of disposable stick pens rolling around in your draw at home?”

Prospect: “That’s right.”

Salesperson: “Your disposable pens probably decompose in a few days.”

Prospect: “Um, I’m not sure. What pen are you selling?”

Salesperson: “I’m not sure about your pens, but most disposable stick pens aren’t recycled. They’re discarded in the trash, where they’ll take hundreds of years to decompose. The ink left in pens contaminates soil and water. Meanwhile, the Onyx eco-friendly pen you’re holding is plastic-free, so there’s no hefty environmental footprint. If you’d like you can try it so you can do a comparison.”

Some people will agree. Some won’t. It’s okay either way.
Your pen is for someone, but it’s not for everyone.

The shift?
Selling like a salesperson —> Selling like a scientist
I know —> I don’t know.