A client asked me if it was possible to help an introvert learn to sell. That seems like a logical questions given that study after study shows that most successful sales people are naturally extroverts. But I started my sales career in semiconductor sales where geeks ruled and introverts were part of every sales team.
The reality is that many businesses are dominated by introverts who must also be part of the sales process. Accountants come to mind, so do doctors and many attorneys. So what do you do if you are faced with helping introverts sell? First, realize that most are never going to be cold-calling dynamos. In fact, the more introverted they are, the less likely they are to feel comfortable reaching out to any strangers.
Entrepreneur Magazine’s article “3 Ways Introverted Entrepreneurs Can Market Themselves” notes that there are other ways to reach out to people other than cold calling and schmoozing at Chamber of Commerce meetings. One thing that any introvert will tell you is that the better they know someone or the more comfortable they are in the situation, the more like an extrovert they behave. So use that to their advantage. Introverts who are experts are often good technical speakers and can wow an audience with their knowledge. Put that person in front of the right audience and the phone will start to ring. In addition, coaching them to expend their circle of contacts from within often helps. When they know how to get referrals from current clients, they will have built a comfortable path to expanding opportunities.
Am I telling you to go out and hire more introverts into your sales team? No. I’m telling you that you don’t have to fire all of the ones you have because you can work with them to improve their results.
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