How To Deal With Sales and Introversion

Check out this week’s blog post on Sales and Introversion by DOW Electronics’ very own Training Manager,Keith Shoup.

A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine1 brought together two themes that, to most, would seem like oil and water – sales and introversion.  On their face, they may seem like complete opposites.  However, the truth is that there are some very successful salespeople who are introverted by nature.  Generally speaking, sales is an extroverted activity.  So, how is it that they can occupy the same space at the same time?

In my travels, I’ve met with retailers and sales staff who struggled to some degree with introversion.  I’d watch potential shoppers walk through their doors and they wouldn’t get as much as a hello until they came to the counter to ask a question.  I must say, I’m not the type that likes to be hounded when I first walk through the doors of a business establishment, but it’s nice, at a minimum, to be acknowledged – especially when you’re about to give them your hard-earned money.

In the end, it’s difficult to make a customer want to do business with you if you can’t make them feel comfortable and, ultimately, interact with them.  I understand this level of introversion may be an extreme case, but they’re out there, even among salespeople I’ve personally met.  If you find yourself in the sales and introversion arenas at the same time, please read on.

The name of the article I alluded to at the beginning is titled, “9 Proven Sales Tips for Introverts.”  I’ve selected five tips which I feel are great starts to help step out of your comfort zone.  These have been taken directly from the article and represent the views of the author:

 

  1. Say hello to everyone you pass. I refuse to walk past any person without acknowledging him or her. I force myself to look everyone in the eyes and say hello. This builds a muscle enabling me to decide at will when I want to be extroverted, whether in a sales call or other situation.

 

  1. Get passionate. I become so excited about what I’m selling that I have to share it with the world. Becoming passionate about your product or service makes you less interested in how you are perceived and more concerned about showing excitement about what you have to offer.

 

  1. Be so persistent you get criticized for it. In life and in business, especially sales, you won’t become successful if you never get criticized. Follow up on customers so much that they actually complain about it, and once they do, keep following up until they admire you for your persistence. If you believe in your product, company and yourself, then you will be willing to insist—and risk being criticized for it.

 

  1. Force yourself to be in public. Step out of your home and office often so you can socialize with people. When I move to a new city, I will go to the same place over and over until I am comfortable and know everyone there. I have done this same thing with my children, bringing them to the same grocery store every morning until they could talk to the people working there as family.

 

  1. Do one thing a day that you fear. It’s very important for me [to] do the things that make me most uncomfortable. You need to be courageous and make a point of facing your fears, no matter how big or small. The single scariest thing for me was visiting my customers or prospects in person. So that is exactly what I did first thing every day to get over my fear. It instilled courage in me, belief in myself and changed my focus from limitations to possibilities.

 

For some introverts, telling them to do these five things might as well be the equivalent of recommending a climb to the peak of Mt. Everest.  May I suggest tackling these five tips individually and implementing them over a period of time?  When you feel like you’ve mastered one, move on to the next one.  As you move outside your comfort zone and flex those ‘extrovert’ muscles through the tips provided, you’ll come to see them as a resource that can be leaned upon when required.

It all comes down to managing the introversion, and not letting it manage you.  It’s a shame to see when introversion gets in the way of making sales, growing a business, and fulfilling life and professional goals.  If you’re interested in reading the entire article, and I recommend you do, please click on the following link.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225371#

 

If you have any comments or suggestions on how you’ve been able to put introversion in check, please drop a line in the comments section.

 

 

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1  Cardone, Grant. “9 Proven Sales Tips for Introverts.” Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur Media, Inc., 02 Jan. 2013. Web. 06 Nov. 2013.

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