Help Me Sell a Stapler........

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by dave_brogli, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    I'm trying to get a job as a salesman at a local car dealer.
    A friend of mine who worked there told me that during his interview the Manager asked him to "sell me this stapler" and handed him a stapler. Just a kinda normal one. Nothing special. He froze and lost the job. This has got me completely worried that I'm not going to know how to "sell the stapler" to the guy.

    I know I'd be able to sell a car to someone. That has features, and options. But how would I sell a stapler?

    What are they looking for from me?

    Im hoping you guys can give me an idea of what he would want to hear. My interview is tomorrow and I really dont want to lose out on this job.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    It doesn't really matter what you say, as long as you jump in with enthusiasm and have something halfway intelligent to say.

    To prepare (remember, it may be a ballpoint pen or some other everyday item), think of the "needs satisfaction" system of selling. Think of what the person looking at the item wants and tout those features.

    Here's a sample:

    Mr. Customer, I'm very happy that you're looking at this stapler here today, because I happen to really like this model. As you can see, it opens wide so you can staple multiple pieces of paper together. This hinge on the back is particularly well-constructed, as it allows the stapler to open to staple things to a wall. This piece here is made of metal, so the stapler should provide you with many years of stapler satisfaction. See these little grooves underneath where the staples come out, this is to guide the ends of the staples back up in the right direction...

    I'm sure you get the idea by now. Just have a good line, Dave...
     
  3. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I would say, "I cannot sell you this stapler because I know nothing about it. I dont know any of its specifications or how it performs and I refuse to sell somebody something which I know nothing about. I would like to sell you that Chevy Widget out there on the showroom floor though. It comes standard with a 5 speed automatic transimission, a 260hp V6, dual zone climate control and rear seat entertainment system for the kids. It gets 5 star government crash ratings and was ranked as a best buy by Consumer Reports. The manufacturer is offering a $2500 rebate and low interest rates so now is the best time to buy."

    Emphasize that your goal as a salesperson is to know your product better than anyone else and you refuse to BS. Just make sure that everything you say about the "Widget" is true.
     
  4. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I hate this test. I had to do it for certain college jobs I had over the summers.
     
  5. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    You could just hope that the interviewer is an Office Space fan and start doing your best Milton impersonation...

    [​IMG]

    Aside from that bit of nonsense, I have nothing of value to add.
     
  6. David-S

    David-S Second Unit

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  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  8. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    "This stapler was owned by a little old lady who only used it on Sundays to staple obits into her scrapbook."
     
  9. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    And once you've sold him the stapler don't forget to sell an extended warranty and other add-ons. Managers love that. [​IMG]
     
  10. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    Whatever you do, make sure you watch Glengary Glenross before you go. ABC Always Be Closing! [​IMG]
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    yeah, it doesn't matter what the object is. all you need to do is highlight it.

    1. usefullness
    2. build quality
    3. charm / appeal
    4. durability
    5. cool factor
    6. demonstrate

    etc.

    i like bill's idea about the warranty - that may be a nice humorous touch. i also get charles' gist, but would probably stay away from it. if the manager isn't just the right type of guy, it will probably backfire.
     
  12. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    You need to emote. I was told once that the first astronauts landing on the moon practiced emoting before leaving. Imagine the whole world watching and hearing "and now I'm holding a small rock". That just wouldn't cut it. It's a small porous rock, it's odd shaped, various colors of gray, etc You have to make more of it than what it is. Practice on some household stuff. A paper clip or mouse or whatever and you'll be confident enough in the interview to be able to sell anything he picks in his office. Just use a little imagination. Good luck.
     
  13. Mark Sherman

    Mark Sherman Supporting Actor

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    FAB the hell out of it

    Features, advantages, benefits


    Which Boils down to "THIS HAS_____SO THAT_____

    YOU CAN_______.


    and of course ABC or Act as if.
     
  14. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    You guys are the bomb! lol [​IMG]
    Thank you guys for your help. Ill start trying to sell my wife some household items tonight. I really liked the idea of the warranty... etc.

    Thanks Guys![​IMG]
     
  15. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Yes, always "assume the sale".

    Wrong: Do you want to buy a stapler?
    Right: Which stapler would you like to buy? (or which stapler can I show you today?)
     
  16. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Refuse to tell him how much the stapler is. Force him to stay in the office with you all day until he breaks down & buys the stapler plus extended warranty, rustproofing, and racing stripes.
     
  17. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    You could hype up the stapler by telling him that model is so good that this guy named Milton burned down the company he worked for because they wouldn't return his stapler :p)
     
  18. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    So, Dave... what happened? I hope things turned out well!
     
  19. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Express to him how well the stapler works and proceed to demonstrate by stapling your own forehead. You probably wont get the job, but, perhaps you'll freak him out enough that he'll stop using the stapler tatic on future interviewees.
     
  20. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    "So what's it gonna take to get you into this stapler today?"

    "Why don't you take it home for the night and try it out on some TPS reports"

    "You know, I don't want to pressure you, but there was a couple in here earlier looking at this very stapler, and their coming back tonight to take another look"

    And don't forget to leave the office and pretend to go "talk to the manager"

    All kidding aside, they probably just want to see how quick you are on your toes. Curious to find out how it went for you though.
     

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