Extroverts thrive in people dominated environments. They draw energy from others. Introverts require down time to recharge their batteries so they can reengage with others. In professional selling, Extroverts tend to excel at both ends of the sales process--prospecting and closing. In general, the charming Extrovert tends to succeed at networking and cold calling, while the tenacious type excels at negotiation and closing the sale.
The Introvert, however, has the upper hand in the middle of the sales process, particularly in the Needs Analysis step. This part of the process is at the heart of the sales call--asking questions, uncovering needs, qualifying, etc. This step requires a shift from the high energy activities necessary at the front end of the sale, to a more methodical approach when asking questions.
Here are five (5) things Introverts do well in the middle of the sales process:
1. They're patient
Unlike Extroverts, Introverts are much more patient. They patiently wait for the right time to ask for an appointment. They are patient while their prospect answers questions. They are patient when asking for the sale. Patience and timing are hallmarks of successful Introvert salespeople.
Sales Tip: Make a decision to lower your level of energy prior to a sales call - especially when selling to an Introvert. Think of your sales call as if you were enjoying a good book on a relaxing Sunday afternoon. With practice, this can reduce an Extrovert's energy level just enough to allow the sales conversation to "breath."
2. They listen
Because of their patience, Introverts also have the inborn capacity to listen better than Extroverts. Their lower kinetic energy simply makes them better listeners than Extroverts. Extroverts love to talk. Sometimes to a fault. Many Extroverts believe that you talk your way through a sale. You don't. Successful salespeople know that you listen your way through a sale. Introverts can do this very well.
Sales Tip: Show that you're listening by repeating back to the buyer what they just said. A quick summary in your own words builds trust and reduces miscommunication between you and the buyer.
3. They don't use hype
Introverts don't attempt to persuade others with hype, but rather with warmth, sincerity, and understanding. Getting a buyer to be excited about your product or service is great. But excessive enthusiasm during the Q&A portion of the sales process can derail your meeting. When a buyer perceives too much hype from the sales rep, trust erodes and the buyer will look elsewhere.
Sales Tip: Have your questions prepared before your sales call. Use checkboxes for Yes and No questions. Leave room for writing responses to open-ended questions. This frees you to focus on the buyer--not what you're going to say.
4. They don't interrupt
Extroverts are notorious for interrupting buyers. (I admit I'm terrible about this.) Being an Extrovert has its advantages, but this is definitely a drawback. We typically speak first and regret it later. Introverts like to think about what was said before they respond. They prefer to think through their responses before articulating them. Very wise.
Sales Tip: After your prospect finishes speaking, mentally count to four (4) before responding. This way you don't interrupt and you show that you're thinking about what they just said. It takes practice, but it prevents you from chopping off the end of the other person's sentence.
5. They manage the details
Extroverts typically like bullet points and get easily bogged down with details. Introverts appreciate more detail and take a more organized approach to managing those details. Whether it's how they take notes during a sales call or how they record them in their CRM system, details pose less of a problem for Introverts.
Sales Tip: Take a Task Retreat each week to manage the details of your life and career. This personal time will free up more opportunities during the week.
Introverts have excellent capacities for success in professional selling. Find out what your levels of Extroversion and Introversion are by taking an assessment. Use these five lessons to slow down and engage your prospects where they are in order to improve your sales performance.