How good a salesman are you: can you sell a pencil?

I was talking to an old friend yesterday, getting reacquainted after a number of years.

Trying to explain what I do, she figured I must be good at sales. So she said to me, “Can you sell a pencil?”

That’s a pretty mundane and fairly difficult thing to sell, isn’t it?

I’ve actually heard this question used before as a qualifier, for determining if you’re good at sales.

So… what’s the best answer here?

What would you answer?

Would you talk about how great the pencil writes? Or how much time it saves you compared to all the other pencils out there?

Or maybe you’d talk about how long the lead lasts, or the fact that it doesn’t smudge.

Or maybe… you’d mention the uniqueness of the eraser. You know, a good eraser really makes a difference — especially when that’s one of the biggest benefits of using a pencil — that you can erase your mistakes.

I used to love those green and blue colored erasers back when I was in grammar school. Know the ones I mean?

I think back about that all the time, when I see ’em.

So which one of these answers did you give?

Were you close on any of them?


You want to know how I answered this question?

I simply said, “Yes, to someone who wants to buy one.”

And this is the magic answer that comes before your answer. This is what makes muddy water, clear.

Often times you’re so gung ho to act, but more often than not, a little thinking like this… makes all those actions of yours… a lot… more… productive.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. How much are you worth? Depends, how much do you want? You tell me, at

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About the Author

Craig GarberAuthor of "How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers, " and publisher of Seductive Selling - an offline marketing newsletter currently read in 15 countries, world-wide. In a nutshell, I do two things: 1. I show you how to attract a reliable, steady stream of pre-qualified leads who are ready to do business with you NOW... 2. And I increase your net profits and cash-flow, by increasing your customer, client, or patient value -- often, dramatically. How do I do this? By developing, and helping you implement, unique, personalized lead generation and marketing strategies... using compelling sales messages that push your customers emotional buy-buttons. I've worked with over 300 clients in more than 104 different industries, since March of 2000, and I really enjoy what I do. I'm a stable, reliable, happily married family guy with three kids who loves life and always follows through on my commitments and promises. I love to listen to music, workout, read, travel with my family, take pictures, and go bass fishing. I always say "Yes," when it comes to good cigars, good books, and good coffee :-)