Sell Me This Pen

In the closing scene of 2013’s film “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) is running a sales seminar. 

Hundreds of people are sat in anticipation, ready to make notes, waiting to hang on to his every word. 

He moves towards the audience, takes a pen out of his pocket and begins handing it to people whilst asking them to “sell me this pen”. 

Audience members shuffle nervously in their chairs and they start selling the pen straight away – “this pen is great” “I like this pen because…..blah blah blah”. 

Jordan moves swiftly from one audience member to the next repeating “sell me this pen”. Why? Because they aren’t doing it right. 

So what’s going on here? Firstly, if you’ve not seen Wolf of Wall Street, where have you been? Go home and watch it immediately.  Secondly, the “sell me this pen” concept is well known. It has been used in business for years because it identifies how people approach customers needs: 

  • Do they respond by asking how long you’ve needed a pen? Or what pen you’ve been keen on and why? 
  • Or do they answer by blindly selling a pen to you without checking you’re not the CEO of Bic? 

What the “sell me this pen” question really boils down to is: if you don’t know what your customer needs, how can you sell to them? If you think of this in marketing terms, how can you begin to market your business if you don’t really know what your audience wants? 

Understanding your customers’ needs is vital to tailoring your offering, but naturally this takes time and:

  • Research
  • Segmenting
  • Planning

Do your homework first, your results will help you put together a strategy for existing and new clients plus it will reduced risk; you have identified their needs and you have a tailored solution.  

If you actually want to sell pens, it’s safe to say that there are 1000’s of pens accessible to the UK market. You can pay £600 plus for a brand such as Montblanc or grab yourself a little blue freebie next time you’re in Argos. They both do the same job, but that’s another blog piece……

References – 

For more info on the”sell me a pen” concept click here. 

To see a short You Tube clip of The Wolf of Wall Street scene mentioned, click here. *warning – swearing*

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