3 Tips for Coaching Sales Introverts

BY Kathy Crosett
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If a post-​pandemic return to the office is in your plans, don’t count on all your team members being happy about the decision. The introverts on your sales team may have been more productive and enjoyed their work environment during the pandemic. The steps you take now will impact productivity and mindset in the coming months. Here are 3 tips for coaching sales introverts:

  • Introverts on the Job
  • Introverts in the Office
  • Manager Awareness

Let's take a look at these 3 tips for coaching sales introverts.

Introverts on the Job

People often assume that sales professionals are natural extroverts. It may be true that extroverts are drawn to the sales profession because they feed on the energy of meeting people. In fact, “extroverts are simply less sensitive to dopamine…they require more stimulation to be happy and energized,” says Roxanne Roberts in a Washington Post column. 

It turns out that many behavioral characteristics of introverts are a great match for selling. These days, consumers aren’t into the hard sell. Part of the new mentality has to do with the availability of online information. Buyers are assessing sellers long before any contact is made. Buyers don’t need to hear a hard sales pitch from a business hunter (extrovert), says Geoffrey James. They instead respond to sellers who possess characteristics of an introvert – one who listens and adapts the sales pitch to the specific needs of the buyer.

Pay attention to reps on your team who possess these characteristics and praise their process during your coaching sessions.

Introverts in the Office

Introverts have grown accustomed to working in quiet environments. They haven't missed break room and coffee station interaction during the past year. It’s not that these team members don’t want those interactions. “They love people in small doses,” says Roberts. As you think about how to establish the new normal at your place of business, pay attention to the needs of the introverts on your staff. If you can’t accommodate their desire to continue working from home, set up quiet personal spaces for them.

Be mindful of the demands you make regarding team activities. If you’re an extrovert who thrives on the energy of having your team members physically close by, think about how your attitude impacts the motivation of all your reps. You and the extroverts on the team will feed off the energy that comes from going to a ballgame and enjoying a few drinks together. If your quieter team members duck out from these gatherings a little early, don’t respond in a way that makes them feel pressured or awkward.

Now, let's look at the last of the 3 tips for coaching sales introverts.

Manager Awareness

If you’re an extroverted sales manager, you’ll need to monitor how you communicate with the more introverted members of your team. Using an automated coaching platform can help. A good coaching tool personalizes communication tips based on the individual profile of each team member. These profiles are developed from assessments your team members take. During your one-​on-​one meetings and coaching sessions, you’ll want to refrain from rushing to develop a close relationship or making too much small talk. Introverts appreciate when you can get to the point quickly.

Assessment results also reveal how your team members behave under stress. Keep these details top-​of-​mind as we transition into our new normal. If you know one of your quieter sales professionals tends to get defensive or moody under stress, you can watch for that behavior. You may need to remind them that, as part of a team, they should try to be open to new ways of doing things.

3 Tips for Coaching Sales Introverts

If you require your less gregarious team members to work from the office five days a week after they’ve been working at home for the past year, expect some pushback. Acknowledge their concerns and try to compromise regarding a hybrid work situation when possible. Introverts bring unique strengths to your sales team. When you use these 3 tips for coaching sales introverts, you’ll see great results.