There are a lot of misconceptions about introverted salespeople. Critics may argue that they don’t have the personality to engage with buyers or their lack of interest in socializing hurts sales. But actually, a lot of successful sellers are introverts.
Introverted salespeople can be successful
“Conventional wisdom suggests that extroverts — commonly thought of as outgoing and sociable — would make better salespeople than introverts, who have been popularly represented as awkward in social situations,” writes Leslie Ye for HubSpot. But, this is wrong, she notes.
Ye reports that a study of 4,000 salespeople found an “almost zero correlation (a statistically insignificant 0.07) between extraversion and sales performance.”
So, if you identify as an introvert, stop doubting your abilities based on your personality. There’s a lot you bring to a relationship with a buyer. Leverage these valuable qualities to stay competitive (and boost your own confidence about what you bring to the table).
Allow those soft skills to shine
Introverted salespeople typically have incredible soft skills. From excellent listening skills and empathy to high emotional intelligence, creativity and self-control, introverts often possess soft skills that today’s buyers prefer.
As Ye explains, “soft skills are described as your ability to communicate and genuinely connect with those you speak to … Though introverts often recharge and get their energy through alone time, their ability to actively listen and give others their undivided attention is beneficial for building the trust needed to close the sale.”
To nurture these skills and improve upon them, take a listen to this episode of the Manage Smarter podcast. You’ll hear from professional coach, speaker and author Dennis Doran who shares insights into soft skills, as well as how to cultivate them.
Tips to keep in mind as an introvert
There are some skills or tasks that may be a struggle or a bit uncomfortable for introverted salespeople. Sales professional Marc Wayshak has some tips specifically for these sellers.
One of his suggestions is engaging with prospects early in the process. This not only allows you to utilize a valuable introvert skill, but also encourages prospects to share information. Wayshak believes that “introverts are far better [than extroverts] at actually getting other people to talk and open up.”
He urges introverted sellers to “Use your natural inclinations to get prospects talking early on—so that they’re doing most of the talking, and you’re doing most of the listening. Leverage your natural ability to really listen and get them going.”
Wayshak also encourages introverts to not shy away from digging even deeper. It may take getting over some discomfort, but seek out ways to go even further with your conversations. Tap into your curiosity to encourage prospects, and use empathy statements to show you understand and want to know more.
Embrace being an introvert in sales
Being an introverted salesperson is not the disadvantage you may have been led to believe. “You have developed the natural skills to listen, to engage, and to really focus on the individual in front of you at any given time,” Wayshak writes. “This is absolutely key to selling.” And again, it’s what buyers today want when working with sellers. Embrace your unique strengths and don’t forget to work on what may not come naturally. You’ll find just as much success, if not more, than your extroverted counterparts.
And for more discussion of the topic, check out Salesfuel’s article about the benefits of being an introvert in sales.
Photo by Christina Morillo