Recently, at one of those startup bootcamp conferences, a woman said some wise words: “As a founder you have to be a salesperson in the first second.” Which, since the majority of startups are coming from the shyer, tech world, discomfort with sales can seem like just another hurdle in the track of long-distance entrepreneurship.
As she continued, “I don’t think anyone wants to be a salesperson, but there are some people who are natural salespeople.” And we assume introverts aren’t them. I disagree. I know many introverts who cringe at the idea of sales, but, when given the chance, are some of the best sales reps you’ll ever meet. So today I embark to tell the introverts of the world why they too can be sales rockstars and offer a few tricks to help along the way.
1. You Don’t Scream Sales
…and that’s a good thing! Remember Matilda’s used-car-selling dad? People are more likely to be open and direct with you, than an intense salesy person cold calling them all the time. And imagine if your customers are introverts. They sure will appreciate your more mellow manner. The more timid tend not to be pushy or obnoxious. People don’t feel like they are being given the hard sell, they feel like they are part of a budding relationship.
2. You’re a Great Listener
People don’t want to hear what you have to say, they want to hear what they want you to say. You are a natural at asking insightful, open-ended questions that get right down to your clients’ needs and then offering a response to those client needs. When you do speak, it’s to parrot back what they said, with something like: “What I’m hearing is that your concern is…” Socratic sales FTW!
3. You Hesitate
Since you are less comfortable cold calling, you’re more likely to qualify your leads and work to build up to the relationship with online contacts, instead of jumping into a day of cold calls. You will really work your sales pipeline until you have exactly the right moment to pick up that phone.
Secrets to Introverted Sales Success
I talked to a shyer friend who was ranked 12 out of 5,000 recruiters. Here’s what he had to say about which personality type makes a true sale star:
Introverts Upsell Better
“In recruitment, for example, extroverts are much better and generally do better in getting the business in the door, but it’s the introvert and their less flashy personality that keeps the business and grows the account. They usually are seen as more operational and less on trying to sell you their own mother whenever possible.”
Introverts Evaluate Leads Better
“Extroverts try to say what you want to hear and do everything possible to win the business. An introvert approach would be to evaluate whether the business really has a need for his or her services and whether they themselves can really add benefit. When they spot that and genuinely agrees that they can add value the passion comes out, and clients see that.”
5 Tricks, Tools, and Tips to Sell Better (Without Changing Who You Are)
Diversity is crucial to the success of any workplace. And it’s not just demographically, a team made up of different personality types is essential. While you want to excel at sales, you don’t want to change who you are or try to become someone you’re not in the process. Here are some tricks and tools for how to make that sale more easily.