3 Secret Weapons That Can Make Introverts Enormously Successful in Sales
Your personality type does NOT correlate to likability.
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As a top-billing headhunter (sales job), I worked with extroverted AND introverted people who all have made over $200k-$500k.
The reality is that: intro/extro-version does not dictate your chances of success as a salesperson.
Here are the reasons why:
#1. Your personality type does NOT correlate to likability. Have you met a loud, outspoken extrovert who you immediately hated? Have you ever found yourself enjoying a pleasant conversation with someone who's less obnoxious and intrusive?
The chances are yes, not only once, but all the time.
Since likability is at the core of whether or not a sale proceeds, your personality type could either be a pro or a con. In my job as a headhunter, I've seen extroverts fail miserably! They think they'd be good at sales because they're arrogant in their abilities to push their way through to people. They're wrong.
Instead of being sophisticated in persuasion, many extroverts come off as bumbling aggressors, ruining the image of sales as a profession. The ensuing term "used car salesman" mars the meaning, reputation, and benefits of pursuing a career in sales. Therefore, society perceives sales an evil career.
#2. Sales success comes from listening, a skill that actually benefits introverts naturally. As an extrovert, I had to be trained to shut my mouth! So much of sales is extracting information crucial for you to utilize in your future negotiations and sales process management. Therefore, each sales company will spend significant time training people what questions to ASK in order to uncover objections, insider information, and clues to what will ultimately seal the deal.
When you are over-talking, you will miss out on key details. Open questioning is a habit that ALL salespeople must master in order to truly succeed at this job. Questions that start with Who? What? Why? How? What if? What would it take? If X happened, what would you think? need to become a deeply-ingrained habit.
#3. Sales is usually completed one-to-one, thus ability to wow large audiences is less important. When I do deals, it's usually with one (or 2 max) people involved. Extroverts excel at possessing the energy and charisma required to engage and sustain the large audiences. Luckily, in sales deals, you don't need hundreds of people to buy into your message and services.
The playing field is EVEN for both extroverts and introverts because the quality of relationships (usually with one individual) is all you need to win.
Whether you're looking to succeed as a salesperson (or even business leader!), your introversion or extroversion will be a weapon that could help you OR hurt you. You can learn new methods, habits, and mentalities to become more successful, no matter which direction your personality inclination leans.
Instead, focus on moving to the middle to become an "ambivert". This is a term popularized by the book To Sell Is Human. This is a must-read for every modern professional at any career level to understand, leverage, and master how to become more successful when it comes to dealing with people.
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