If you’re in sales, there’s one question you must be able to answer in a job interview: Sell me this pen.
It may happen today or tomorrow, or it may come up further down the road, but it pays to be ready for it. It’s also a question that can teach you something new about sales or remind you of some core sales principles that are sometimes neglected.
The question gained fame recently when it appeared in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Martin Scorsese’s fact-based 2013 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort.
Belfort got rich running a stock brokerage, Stratton Oakmont, that was a boiler room operation specializing in penny stocks and, not so incidentally, defrauding its customers of some $200 million. After it all came crashing down, he served 22 months in federal prison.
In the movie, DiCaprio is at a deli with a group of friends and potential recruits to his new brokerage business, talking about how everyone wants to get rich and about capitalizing on people’s natural greed.