Being an introvert means that social interaction is far from being your main strength. And it might at first appear that with such a disposition one cannot succeed in the business of sales, which basically depends on social interaction. However, there are ways for introverts to become successful business leaders in any industry. The only thing you need in order to succeed as an introvert in the sales business is to be able to understand your strengths and how they can be applied in any given situation.
In the meantime, be mindful that a study of 4,000 salespeople has shown that there is no correlation between professional success and extroverted personality.
Introverts Vs. Extraverts in Sales: What’s the Difference?
There are many misconceptions about “introverted” and “extroverted” personality types. The most common among them is that introverts are socially inept while extroverts are all Mr. or Miss Popularity.
The truth however is that one’s social skills have very little to do with whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Those particular traits only affect how people become energized. Extroverted personalities literally thrive off social situations as they draw power from being surrounded by and interacting with people. Introverts, on the other hand, become exhausted by these situations and need solitude to “recharge”.
Therefore, being an introvert should not affect your sales skills at all, just so long as you aren’t trying to use extroverted methods of selling. In other words going around trying to score leads and increase conversions in person isn’t for you. But you can learn all the skills which help to catch people’s attention and convert them into buyers, and then employ them with strategic precision. When you have to interact with people, you might not draw positive energy from the experience but in the end it’s the learned skill which will determine whether you make a sale.
Be aware too that there are ways to make sales even without a great deal of direct personal contact.
Practical Tips for an Introvert to Succeed in the Sales Business
Use “non-personal” lead generation methods
You don’t have to “go out there” and be a traveling salesperson to generate leads. Instead, many today use digital methods which will end up being much more effective in the long run. Starting with the good old sales leads database and to specially-designed lead generation websites, you should use every digital method available.
- Launching courses, podcasts, and webinars
- Publishing ebooks and white papers
- Online advertising
- Live stream videos
Make the most of networking at conferences
Introverts prefer solitude, but this doesn’t mean you can’t rock a social situation if you need to. Visiting conferences offers you opportunities for business networking, so treating them like work will help you to stay focused and productive.
You should read up on how to network most efficiently during conferences so that you arrive prepared. As an introvert, you are a deep thinker by nature and a good listener. This means that you already have an advantage for networking in particular. Just remember that your goal during conferences and other similar events is not to sell your products but to establish relationships. Show people that you care about what they want to say so that they want to continue their relationship with you. Then, email them your well-crafted sales pitch.
Also, listening to your prospects carefully will help you to improve not only your products but also your selling techniques. In this way you will be able to understand people’s needs better and adjust to them.
Prioritize cold emails over cold calls
Both cold emailing and cold calling are valid and rather effective lead generation methods. However, as an introvert it is unlikely that you’ll be able to develop the necessary rapport to enable you to be successful in cold calling. Cold emails, on the other hand, require good preparation and planning but no actual personal contact or attempts to sell something immediately. You should research your target audience thoroughly and craft multiple email templates to fit a variety of personalities. Don’t forget that the more personalized the emails are, the higher is your chance of success using this technique.
Do not let yourself burn out
It is a fact that as an introvert, sales will be more stressful for you. So, as burnout is a major issue for mental and physical health you need to be proactive in preventing it.
This means you should make sure that your schedule includes periods of time dedicated specifically to solitude, so that you can recharge before returning to work. It is imperative that you remain consistent with these breaks.
Be an Introvert and Rock at Sales: Final Thoughts
As an introvert you may not enjoy working with people, but the sales business isn’t all about personal interaction and spending days on end among crowds. As an introvert, you can focus on developing meaningful relationships with your lead customers and networking at major social events.
But your main area of sales should be digital. Use your ability to listen and understand people in order to develop more personalized and effective marketing strategies. And use helpful tools like databases and consumer research reports to help build up your leads.
Kate Bregovic is a wife, mother, freelance writer and fitness enthusiast. She covers many topics – from business management trends to fitness regimes. When she’s not writing, she’s planning outdoor activities for her family, cooking or working out at the gym. Follow her on Facebook!