In the past, introverted people have been considered a poor match for sales roles as most people associate salespeople with extroversion.
But interestingly, there is very little data to back this assumption. In fact, more and more data is suggesting the opposite.
I asked the self-described "Sales Introvert" Alen Mayer to explain the paradox. Here's what he had to say.
What does "introvert" mean?
An introvert is not easily defined but can be best understood as a collection of preferences. An introvert by definition is a person who prefers solitary activities such as writing and listening to music over more social ones, and they enjoy time spent alone. They find less reward in time spent at large social events, though they may enjoy interactions with close friends. Most notably, an introvert likes to observe situations before participating.
Why do introverts find success in sales?
The first major sales strength of an introvert is composure. Often mistaken for being too reserved or shy, introverts are able to sit back in the heat of the moment to give themselves a better vantage point.
Secondly, introverted salespeople put a high priority on relationship building with customers and clients. They are far more likely to build long-term streams of revenue by working with the same customers again and again.
Introverts also have a keen, well-trained ability to listen to prospects. Often, customers want to talk about what they are dealing with, explain the issue, and discuss what really matters to them.
Introverts are passionate about the work and projects they are assigned to. This "love" of work goes far beyond just receiving a paycheck and completing tasks.
Persistence is another common trait introverts can draw upon. Similar to passion, persistence involves sticking with a project or task even when it becomes difficult. They will hold on even if it requires additional resources and attention to make it happen.
Finally, introverts have a keen ability to observe and draw conclusions from watching other people and how they behave.
How does an introvert land a sales job?
While introverts are often overlooked during the traditional cover letter and resume process, they are in very high demand on job-matching platforms. When the extraversion bias is stripped away, introverts rise to the top for a lot of businesses.
Are you a sales introvert or extrovert? Ambivert? Are you interested in learning more about your unique selling style? Complete the Ideal Candidate assessment to learn more about your sales personality and discover what companies would be a perfect match for you.
Don't ever consider being an introvert as something that holds you back, especially in the world of sales. Put your personality in the right perspective and use your talents to move ahead and succeed.
Would you consider yourself an introverted salesperson? Do you know someone else who fits the description? Please share and remind them how valuable they are!
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Originally published Feb 25, 2016 6:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017