5 tips for introverts who want to succeed in a sales role
According to the Myers-Briggs research, everyone spends some time being an extrovert and some time being an introvert depending on how they want to direct their energy in any given situation. Extroverts typically replenish their energy through social interactions whilst introverts are more comfortable accomplishing tasks alone or in a small group. Relevantly, this is what makes introverts great for a sales role as they are able to dedicate their full attention to the consumer and understand their needs. The era of a pushy salesperson is over and customers nowadays respond better to a sales professional who respects their preferences whilst meeting their needs.
Sales introverts are quiet achievers and have the potential to be highly successful once they recognise opportunities for improvement and learn to capitalise on their strengths. If you think you are an introvert and want to succeed in a sales role, have a read of these five tips below:
1. Be productive and organised
Many people can be introverts in a new work setting. However, once they are confident and comfortable with their new workplace, they tend to lean more towards being extroverted. If this is you, we will recommend that you take full advantage of your organisational skills and plan your day ahead every morning. If you find that having meetings and phone calls spread throughout the day too draining – be strategic in how you manage your time. Identify when you are the most alert – for example, if you are most active in the morning, schedule your meetings and calls then and allocate your afternoon to do all your email follow-ups. In doing so, you will be able to conserve your social energy whilst being your most efficient self. You can also set yourself up for success by using this time to research and learn more about your industry and service offering. This will help you become more knowledgeable in your market and be more confident in your discussion with customers.
2. Practise active listening
Customers appreciate a salesperson who really listens, takes the time to understand their challenges and can design a solution that is best suited for them. This actually plays to your advantage as an introvert as you would be naturally more inclined to be a great listener. By actively listening to a customer, you are able to understand their point of view and gather important information from your discussion. You can then leverage off the data you collected and create an appealing value proposition for your customer. Great sales professionals naturally have an innate likability. However, it is other skills such as listening and organisational skills that really pay off in the long term. Customers like to feel valued and you can make them feel cared for through your undivided attention and follow-ups. As an example, we have implemented this in our company principle “Care, then act” as a reminder that relationships with our customers are not transactional. Instead, we encourage our Progressive Recruitment consultants to fully engage and invest their time with their customers.
3. Allow yourself time to recharge and manage your social energy
One way that distinguishes introverts from extroverts is how they replenish their energy. Introverts need to allow themselves time to recharge as it can be mentally draining to partake in social interactions throughout the day. This is why it is important for introverts to be mindful and know when to pull back to avoid a burn out. Furthermore, the sales industry has its peaks and troughs – some days you may be highly successful while other days may be slightly slower. As an introvert, you may tend to dwell longer on rejection but you should be able to recognise this and not be too hard on yourself. Just remind yourself that it’s all part of the game and that there is no value in overstressing yourself about it. Keep your composure and think about other opportunities to reap in the market.
4. Practice makes perfect
Whist generally applicable to all careers, it is important that you become aware of your weaknesses and practise to get better at them. Author and professional speaker Geoffrey James shared that extroverts tend to be more comfortable cold-calling as they “thrive on social interaction and tend to have thick skins and, therefore, the ability to cope with rejection.” As such, if you are an introvert and do not feel confident cold-calling people, you can ask a colleague or manager to deskside coach you and provide you with both positive and constructive feedback. This will give you a safe space to practise your conversational skills and be strategic in how you ask questions to get to know your customer better. More often than not, introverts end up thriving more on sales calls after honing their skills on calls.
5. Pick the right sales job for you
Introverts can perform equally as well as extroverts in a sales role – however there are industries that are more aligned with an introvert’s inherent strengths. For example, business models that are built on repeat patronage and customer loyalty will enable introverts to flourish as customers respond well to their listening and follow-up skills. Introverts will also do well in markets that require a diligent response to industry trends and the ability to understand complex products such as engineering or finance. To put it simply, both introverts and extroverts are equipped with a different set of skills in their approach towards sales. The importance is knowing how to capitalise on those strengths and understand areas that can be improved on.
Did you know?
Did you know that sales introverts make great recruiters? For those of you who don’t know much about recruitment, it may come across as a HR job, one that focuses on hiring the best people and creating a positive workplace culture. However, recruitment is actually quite different from a HR role. Instead, it is widely considered more of a sales role in the industry as efforts are two-fold – having to sell a great position to a candidate, and having to sell a great candidate to the client.
At Progressive Recruitment, we embrace our quiet achievers and can proudly say that we attribute a large part of the success of our business to them. Working in recruitment has enabled our consultants to expand on their interpersonal skills such as developing client business relationships, managing the hiring process, conducting interviews, providing career advice to candidates and most importantly, helping candidates to secure a great job with the career progression they are looking for and helping our clients to secure top-tier talent that can help their business move forward.
Want to find out more?
We can definitely say that a career in sales is extremely rewarding and gives you the financial freedom and control over your career progression. If you are interested to know more about how recruitment is relevant to sales and how you can transition into recruitment with or without the relevant experience, feel free to contact us at +61 02 9285 1000 or watch this video for further information.