Introverts, believe it or not, can teach us a lot about success, even when it comes to sales. Typically, one imagines a successful salesperson as someone who is charismatic, outgoing, talkative, and extroverted. “The truth is,” writes Matthew Pollard for Entrepreneur.com, “introverts innately have everything it takes to not only be effective salespeople, but to achieve results that put them at the top of the pack.” Introverts have more strengths of a salesperson than you may think.
Introverts have the natural strengths of a salesperson
Pollard explains that introverts actually have strengths of a salesperson that can help them be successful in sales. Plus, today’s buyers are evolving. They are less tolerant of stereotypical, flashy, fast-talking salespeople who pride themselves on being extroverts. Buyers are now coming to the table already knowledgeable about their business and what they are looking for. They want an advisor and partner rather than someone who is simply selling something. Pollard supports this with the following stats:
- Showy, bravado-type salespeople are more likely to alienate prospects than close them.
- Salespeople in the top 90% demonstrate traits of modesty and humility.
- Salespeople with high levels of gregariousness ranked in the bottom third of overall sales performance.
Introverts’ typical skills actually align well with what today’s buyers want. Introverts tend to be less talkative than extroverts, which allows them to engage in active listening. Leslie Ye agrees, writing a post for HubSpot, “Introverted salespeople don't feel the need to dominate a conversation simply because they like the sound of their own voice. Instead, they’ll sit back and let a prospect talk through their problems before offering measured advice.”
Tips for introverted reps
In her article, Ye shares tips for introverted sellers, encouraging them to leverage their unique strengths of a salesperson. Below are a few of her suggestions to consider:
Utilize your soft skills. Soft skills include less aggressive tactics such as communicating mindfully, being empathetic, humbleness, and emotional intelligence. These skills are what help form a strong connection with others. “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,” she explains.
Do your research. Likely if you’re an introvert, the thought of a meeting with a new prospect can make you feel a bit nervous. Boost your confidence by going in with a head full of knowledge. Research and learn as much as you can so by the time you sit down to talk, you feel well prepared and ready for whatever comes at you. “Equipping yourself with as much information as possible can help put you at ease with the interactions ahead,” Price believes.
Give yourself time to recharge. “For those who identify as introverts, having downtime can be essential for remaining focused, energized, and at the top of their game,” Price explains. This tip is important because for introverts, sales can be particularly trying. Putting yourself out there takes a lot of energy, so make sure to balance your personal interactions with alone time.
“The idea that the best salespeople are extroverts is so ingrained that we don’t even question it,” writes Pollard. “But there is zero evidence supporting this.” The evidence put forth by both Pollard and Price reveal that introverts not only make excellent salespeople, but also are already naturally equipped with important sales skills.