Introverts can make great salespeople and sales managers.
But most don’t.
That’s why, when it comes to some of the fields that classically attracts a more introverts than it does extroverts such as engineering, law, accounting and to a certain degree consulting and banking, most of the people who are asked to sell their company’s services hate it.
What’s ironic about that, is that most people who are asked to sell are asked to do so because they’ve done well in their previous job.
“Congratulations, you made partner – now go out and acquire customers”
For some people this is their worst nightmare – and if they don’t have the tools (which most don’t), then it’s no wonder.
Of all the salespeople and managers I’ve coached in my career however, two of the ones consistently performed the best, and created the best long-term relations with their clients were introverts.
What they do better than anyone else, the following:
One: They leverage their analytical skills to challenge the client
In other words, they are very good at seeing the patterns and trends of the sector they operate in, and translate that into insight, that the client can use to accelerate their path towards whatever goal they’re chasing. More importantly, they’re not afraid to challenge the client, whenever they come across an aspect of their business believe can be improved. Most decision makers enjoy this, because they’re not looking for someone to tell them what they want to hear – they’re looking for someone to tell them the true state of affairs.
Two: They operate from an outside-in perspective:
We previously covered why most salespeople aren’t as successful as they would like to be. It goes back to starting from the inside-out, trying to figure find somewhere, where your solution might fit. Extrovert or introvert, it is absolutely paramount, that you start with your client’s needs first.
A word of caution here – many experts have a very hard time asking about their client’s needs, because it feels uncomfortable, and unnatural.
If you fall in this category, you must force yourself out of your comfort zone, and ask questions to uncover your client’s needs, pains and priorities. It’s difficult, and can be unnerving, but if you want to join the league of the best in the business, then this is an absolute must.
Three: They gain trust with their customers through competence
Because of their analytical skills, introverts usually know their own products and services better than anyone. This means that they are unusually adept at figuring out how a solution can be tailored to fit the clients needs. This is something that builds trust, because the client can see that not only does the person across from them have their best interest at heart, but they are also capable of following through on the needs that they uncover in the discovery phase.
Keep in mind that when you’re selling to a prospect, you’re not only selling a product, but you’re also selling a process. And the process is usually what’s most important. If the prospect has confidence that you can implement the product or service you’re discussing in a satisfactory way, then you’re well on your way to making the sale.
There is no natural law that say that introverts can’t make great salespeople. In fact – they often do, because of their natural ability in other areas, such as their analytical skills and attention to detail.
So if you’re an introvert, take advantage of your natural wiring, and go out there and sell the pants off of your market.