We often hear the stereotypical ideas around what makes someone a great salesperson.
Some of these ideas involve things like, being talkative, having an extroverted personality type, talking loudly and having massive amounts of energy.
As a sales trainer who has worked with many many people over the years, I have encountered and trained every type of personality you can think of: Extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts.
And guess what, it’s not always the extroverts that excel at sales.
So the question I often get, is:
"Can I be a great salesperson even if I'm an introvert?"
The answer is, yes. Absolutely. In fact, introverts often make better salespeople than extroverts do because introverts tend to be great observers and listeners. They don’t feel the need to be talking constantly. Instead, they ask questions that allow the potential buyer to express their needs. Being good at sales is much more than being able to talk well. It involves active listening, intuitiveness and the ability to read people well. Especially in today’s world where people are looking for a connection. Therefore, being a good salesperson has less to do with your personality type and more about your people and sales skills.
A lot of people have mental blocks around sales because they don’t think they have the right kind of personality to be good at sales.
This holds them back big time.
However, from personal experience, I can assure you that anyone can learn to be good at sales.
In fact, oftentimes it’s easier to become great at sales as an introvert than it is as an extrovert.
Extroverts sometimes have to unlearn things, like for example, talking too much. Introverts, on the other hand, have to learn some things to get good at sales.
Many times, however, it’s easier to learn a skill than to unlearn an inborn personality trait.
Why Introverts Can Be Great At Sales
Contrary to popular opinion, introverted salespeople have an advantage above their extroverted peers because they most often understand people really well.
By nature, introverts observe and analyze people and situations at a deeper level than many extroverts do.
They don’t usually speak without having thought about what they’re going to say first.
This can be a huge advantage in a sales scenario. Nothing can do more harm and be more costly than saying the wrong thing at the wrong time!
Introverts also come across as more trustworthy, as they thrive in getting the attention off of them and on to the potential buyer.
Everyone wants to feel special and introverts have the innate ability to make people feel special because they’d rather not be the center of attention.
They don’t usually “talk big” and this puts the buyer at ease.
Another thing that can cause an introvert to be good at sales is the fact that they are less likely to make a potential buyer defensive by what they say.
If you’ve been in sales awhile, you’ll know that it’s very hard to close a sale when the prospect has started to defend themselves because of something that was said. (Not a good thing to do).
Here is a quick list of the 8 main traits that cause introverts to be great salespeople:
- They are good listeners
- They are good observers
- They ask questions to understand
- Their words have more weight
- They come across as trustworthy
- They put more effort into a sales encounter
- They tend to be more prepared for a sales encounter
- They place the attention on the potential buyer
But just as there are many reasons that introverts can be great at sales, there are also a few skills that they must acquire in order to achieve greatness that might not be natural to them.
Here are a few main traits to improve on:
Not all introverts are passive. However, many introverts that I’ve worked with in the past have had the natural tendency to be passive.
If you want to be a great salesperson, you’re going to need to take initiave. Learn to be assertive and initiate conversations with potential clients. If you just sit back and wait for clients to come to you, you’re not going to make it in sales. Why? Because sales is an active job.
The good news is that you can learn assertiveness as an introverted person. One way to practice being assertive is to set a time every day to reach out to new people. Do this by calling, emailing, messaging or even talking to people when you’re out and about your day.
Learning to be assertive and balancing it out with your ability to listen and understand people will give you a huge advantage as a salesperson.
Enjoy Being Around People
If you want to be a great salesperson, you’re going to need to enjoy being around people. Not all introverts are hermits. But contrary to most extroverts, introverts are happy to be alone. If you desire to be a great salesperson, you’ll need to find a way to be with people and talk to people. Because you can’t do business with yourself.
Speaking up to say what actually needs to be said might not be a problem for every introvert. But a lot of times, introverted personalities don’t really speak up to voice their opinions and knowledge. In a sales encounter, speaking up and providing leadership is crucial to making a sale. You are the salesperson and you are the expert in that conversation. If you don’t speak up and take leadership, you most likely won’t get the sale.
1. How can a shy person become an awesome salesperson?
Here are 3 ways to become awesome at sales even if you’re shy:
- Push yourself a little every day.
The best way to get over the fear of talking to people or being rejected is to get comfortable with sales. You can do this by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone every day. For example, you can call a few people every day. Or reach out to new potential clients via email. Do something every day.
- Train, train, train.
If you want to be great at sales, you’ve got to train. The biggest reason people are timid is that they are not familiar with something. The fastest way to improve is to get sales training and commit to practicing every day.
- Get clear on your pitch.
If you’re a shy person, preparation is key. If you are clear on what you are going to say to the next person you talk to, you’ll be confident that you can do it.
- Find your strengths and leverage them
We all have innate abilities that are more natural to us. Extroverts find it easy to talk to people while you might find that challenging. This doesn’t mean that you are doomed to be a failure in sales. It only means that you might need to work harder at this particular aspect of sales than other people. On the other hand, you have strengths that are unique to you. Find them and use them to get better at sales.
2. As an introvert, how can I become the best salesperson I can be?
You can become the best salesperson you can be by being committed to doing just that.
You do this by investing in yourself and training every day.
You truly don’t and should not put a limit on your sales ability by labeling yourself as an introvert. Everyone can learn how to be good at sales. All it takes is the commitment to getting better every day.
Practice, practice, practice.
Find the things you struggle with and train to get better at them.
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