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Introverted and Shy? You Can Still Be a Great Salesperson
Blog / For Sales Pros / Nov 2, 2016 / Posted by Larry Alton / 22355

Introverted and Shy? You Can Still Be a Great Salesperson

When you look at the prototypical salesperson, they are energetic, personable, and magnetic. However, in order to achieve success, do you have to have these characteristics? The straightforward answer is no. Anyone can be successful in sales – even those who are introverted and shy.

Give These Six Tips a Try

If you’ve ever attended a sales clinic or taken a sales course, you probably feel like all of the techniques and strategies are geared towards extroverts. They’re almost all based on the premise of being outgoing and energetic. But what if your personality isn’t quite so aggressive?

As an introvert, you simply have to take a different approach. Specifically, you’ll want to try the following: 

#1: Stop Trying to be an Extrovert 

The very first thing you have to do is stop trying to be an extrovert. A lot of people will tell you that you can be a successful salesperson by mimicking what extroverts do, but this isn’t a practical strategy. The only way to be successful in sales is to stick to who you are and leverage your innate talents and abilities. 

Extroverted sales techniques work for extroverts, while introverted sales strategies work for introverts. It’s nearly impossible to trick yourself into being someone else for the purpose of utilizing other methods.

#2: Give Yourself Time to Recharge

As you’re probably aware, extroverts love being around people. They seem to feed off the energy of others. Introverts, on the other hand, enjoy spending time alone. 

“Our brains process everything so deeply it’s tiring,” self-proclaimed introvert Brenda Knowles explains. “We need time to live in our inner world. We need to recoup bubbly energy by visiting our thoughts, creativity and feelings. We need to go internal in order to express ourselves generously externally.”

As a salesperson, you need to take time in between sales calls and meetings to be alone. Otherwise, you risk running yourself dry – which ultimately prevents you from maximizing your results.

#3: Make One-on-One Pitches

As an introvert, you are much more likely to thrive in one-on-one situations than you are in group settings. You would prefer to engage with a single person, as opposed to speaking in front of a large group of people.

Use this to your advantage by putting yourself in one-on-one sales positions whenever possible. While you’ll inevitably have to present to a group of people occasionally, play to your strengths and set up more intimate sales calls. This will give you a distinct advantage.

#4: Say Hello to Everyone

While you don’t need to become an extrovert, you should train yourself to be a little more engaging. Instead of always walking with your head down and marinating in your own thoughts, teach yourself to interact with people – even total strangers.

One way to practice this is by saying hello and smiling at every single person you walk by on the street or in the hallway. This simple act will give you more confidence and will condition your brain to engage, as opposed to retreat. Over time, this will pay dividends.

#5: Ask Lots of Questions

As an introvert, you may not feel comfortable speaking for long stretches of time. One of the best ways to have meaningful conversations with prospects without having to speak the entire time is to ask the right questions. By asking questions, you can deflect attention and learn a lot about the prospect. These insights can then be used to your advantage later on.

#6: Leverage Your Affinity for Research

“Introverts are more analytical and observational and find their energies are heightened with moments of reflection and lessen with too much interaction,” says Carrie Sealey-Morris of Degree Query.

While Sealey-Morris argues that introverts are better suited for jobs that require less interaction, there’s also something to be said for using your analytical proclivities to become a successful salesperson. Research every possible detail before making a sales call and you’ll find that the interactions are less stressful.

Don’t Write Yourself Off

Not the life of the party? So what! You don’t have to be an extroverted people-person to have success in sales. Sometimes, the greatest salespeople are those who self-label as introverts.

Give these tips a try and you’ll find that sales success isn’t as elusive as you once believed.

About Author

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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