Why Introverts Are Genius at Sales!
When you hear the word “extrovert,” you might think of someone who is the life of the party and a social butterfly. Introvert might bring to mind someone that is quiet, shy, and loves books and solitude. When you think of an extroverted salesperson, we often picture the pushy car salesman that is overly aggressive and sleazy. In fact, most of us don’t even think of an introverted salesperson!
But being an extrovert or introvert has nothing to do with any of this.
The differences are AN EXTROVERT DRAWS ENERGY FROM BEING AROUND PEOPLE and AN INTROVERT DRAWS ENERGY FROM SOLITUDE. Both can love people but the amount of time spent in social situations is different. Introverts must have down time from people and social engagement.
It’s rare that anyone is 100% introvert or extrovert. Most fall in the middle or display a mixture.
Personality Styles Impact
Let’s briefly touch on each personality style using DISC.
D: Dominant, straightforward, outspoken.
I: Influencer, extroverted, motivational.
S: Stable, diplomatic, tactful.
C: Conscientious, accurate, certain.
Both D and I can be extroverted, especially if a combination of both. C and S are introverted and even more so if a combination of both.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
A DI and IS combo will tend to be more extroverted. The DI combo can be quite intense. The IS combo can also be intense but is double people focused. The DC combo will tend to be more introverted than the DI. I am a DCI combo, which means I’m straightforward, bold, and can be aggressive, but I also have enough C that I love to observe, people watch, and listen to people and form solutions to problems.
With the I part of my personality, I can flip a switch and be outgoing, fun, and work a room but HONESTLY THAT IS QUITE STRESSFUL FOR ME. Once I’m done with social events in which I have to switch on the I, I need time to decompress with quiet and rest. The only exception is when I teach. Teaching and training energizes me.
My favorite combination for salespeople is SI or SC. S’s are the salt of the earth and love people but they are stable, calm, and non-emotional. Basically the people you want to share your life story with! The SI combo has the people loving aspect and can be a lot of fun. You just want to be around them. But it’s not overwhelming because the S is dominant over the intense I.
The SC combo is an introvert for sure but the C part loves to listen for knowledge and information to be accurate and certain but the S adds the aspect that they’ll have your best interests in mind. Even CS combo is great too but a C will be more task focused especially if a CD or DC.
Strengths of Introverts:
1. COMPOSED. Bring a calming and comfortable influence putting clients at ease vs. aggressive people that evoke distrust and annoyance. An introvert comes across more honest and less salesy even if the extrovert is honest and truly cares! However, DON’T BE SO CALM that you come off as shy or less confident. People want confident and competent salespeople.
2. NON-EMOTIONAL. Introverts are not aggressive, emotional, or push hard for a sale. Instead they provide facts, identify problems and/or the needs of client by listening, and then offers solutions. They also focus on the product or service not themselves, which is crucial for sales success.C’s will need to be cautious of offering too many details overwhelming certain personalities like the D and I.
3. RELATIONAL. Introverts are interested in building long-term mutually beneficial relationships instead of the SINGLE SALE. They display empathy, patience, and gratitude. They understand that it’s easier to work with existing clients than getting new ones. They come across as genuinely caring because they do!
4. LISTEN WELL. Introverts are great listeners and actually interested in what clients have to say. This is THEIR GREATEST STRENGTH. They don’t have a premade script but instead listen to clients explain what they’re dealing with or the problems they have and what really matters.They then ask great questions for more information and then provide RESOURCEFUL solutions. In fact, 2/3 of the meeting will be discussion and questions instead of a sales pitch. THEY KNOW DOMINATING THE CONVERSATION WON’T UNCOVER THEIR CLIENT’S NEEDS AND THEY DON’T ASSUME THEY KNOW THEM. Extroverts who tend to talk too much set of the BS meter in others and come off as narcissistic, not being genuine, and not really concerned about them. Most don’t find unrefined extrovert salespeople that talk, joke, and laugh too much charming and will avoid or tune them out.
5. They do their homework and know their business, service, and product.
Sales Have Changed
In the old days when cold calling was the name of the game, salespeople had to be:
1. Intruding to get their FOOT IN THE DOOR.
2. Pitching to PERSUADE POTENTIAL CLIENT
3. Persisting or BEING PUSHY.
Today an EFFECTIVE salesperson must:
1. Research to UNDERSTAND CLIENT.
2. Listen to UNDERSTAND CLIENT’S NEEDS.
3. Respond or ADAPT TO IDENTIFY NEEDS.
Tips from Extroverst
Even if introverts tend to be better salespeople (based on research), there are some tips they could use from extroverts.
1. Learn to enjoy being around people. If you don’t like people, that is communicated non-verbally. I trained myself to like people. You can too. LOL
2. Be animated and expressive. This can be hard for an extrovert but really just using some hand gestures and showing a passion for your product or service goes a long way.
3. Learn how to small talk. I HATE SMALL TALK. It’s intimidating, boring, and exhausting. But it builds rapport. I’ve found that as I developed the skill to be genuinely interested in people (I know it sounds horrible), I was better able to engage in small talk.
The Best Combo
A study conducted at Wharton School of Business by professor Adam Grand discovered that those in the middle of extro and intro scale were the MOST SUCCESSFUL SALESPEOPLE. You can develop CHARISMATIC SKILLS. Some are naturally charismatic but everyone can learn to be to a degree that creates rapport with your client.
Tips Based on Personality Style
DI’s need to calm before the meeting. When I know I’m meeting with an S or C client, I schedule extra time, slow down, and calmly interact listening more than anything.
If you’re an I, you need to avoid SELLING YOURSELF. I’s love appreciation and recognition but you’re not there to get that. Focus on the product or service and your customer.
DC’s can be very intimidating and quite frankly “jerk-ish.” And I’m a DC. I cringe when I see a DC or CD combo enter a room. They hardly smile and interact. SMILE! Engage.
SC or CS you need to practice more confidence and interaction in social settings. I teach this in my course, but creating a story toolbox and visualizing a small talk exchange before you go to event is helpful.
C’s must beware of overwhelming people with too many details about product or service.
Tips for Extroverts
1. Don’t wing it. Sometimes you’ll have to but know your business and do your research.
2. Don’t spotlight and sell yourself.
3. Don’t talk too much.
4. Ask questions not pitch script.
5. Listen for important information needed to help your client. Don’t have your answers pre-scripted where you miss what they’re trying to tell you.
6. Don’t view your client as one more check. They can feel that.
7. Think long-term. Nurture that relationship. Follow up and follow through. If you do so, you’ll create a referral engine and not have to hunt for customers.