I hate being called a sales guy.
Call me a business owner. Call me an entrepreneur. Call me an engineer or consultant or professional. Anything but a “sales guy.”
It’s frustrating being labeled as pushy, heavy-handed, and aggressive when heading into a meeting. Especially when none of those traits fit my personality.
But it happens. If you’re in any kind of sales position, I bet it happens to you too.
When most people think “sales guy,” they picture a pushy, overconfident, outspoken salesperson: Someone who will waltz right up to you, vigorously shake your hand, and start breaking down your barriers. Finally, exhausted from the battle, you buy whatever it is they’re selling.
I’m not that guy. And I doubt you are either.
The business owners, consultants, and engineers-turned-salespeople that I know are down to earth. They’re not comfortable forcing people to buy their products and services. It’s not in their nature to be aggressive.
But they do have to sell. Their companies and livelihoods are on the line.
So how do people like us (quiet, humble, a bit introverted) do it? How do we achieve that sales success advertised in movies like Wolf of Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross without being cutthroat and slimy? Here are four selling tips for introverts.
1) Invest in Lead Generation Tools
As an introvert, developing new leads can be difficult. Cold-calling strangers isn’t necessarily our strong suit.
Investing in a lead generation tool like HubSpot can help. At the very least, implement inbound marketing concepts to drive leads your way. This approach is much more attractive than pounding pavement to drum up business.
2) Stop Putting Off the Activities You Dread
It’s all too easy to avoid calling or visiting customers by filling your time with administrative work.
Putting yourself “out there” with outreach calls, emails, and LinkedIn messages can be intimidating. But it’s necessary.
Commit yourself to doing a certain amount every day. Then, do it!
I recommend scheduling these tasks first thing in the morning when your willpower is strong.
Don’t stop until you hit your goal -- after that, you can procrastinate all you want.
If absolutely necessary, work with someone who’s more outgoing. Where you may be struggle to open doors, an extroverted partner will excel.
3) Don’t Forget Your Prospects’ Emotions
Do you rely on logic to persuade customers?
Remember prospects justify their purchases with logic … but buy based on emotion. With that in mind, incorporate their desires and fears into your sales pitch. Think through how your customer feels dealing with the problems they face daily. Then, wrap those emotions into your pitch.
4) Maximize Your Reach Without Burning Out
Developing new relationships is key to advancing your career and/or growing a business. However, for an introvert, these activities can be exhausting.
When you feel yourself getting tired of the face-to-face interactions, it’s time to regroup and recharge.
If you know you have to be “on” for a meeting or conference, try to pencil in a little time to relax. Even if you’re still working, try to do so from a quiet and comfortable place.
Finally, consider how you can use other communications skills, such as writing or social media, to connect with others. This will allow you to communicate at your own time and pace.
Why the Obnoxious Sales Pro is a Dying Breed
I turn away nearly every person that knocks on my door and try as hard as possible to avoid salespeople when shopping for a new car, at the store, and so on.
Those loud-mouthed, obnoxious salespeople are intrusive. They push and pitch and persuade. I don’t benefit from these interactions.
Modern sales professionals are much more successful because they identify their customers’ needs, listen to their requirements, and help them get maximum ROI from your product.
Your customers may see you at first as a stereotypical salesperson. But following these guidelines will help you build a connection and add value to their lives -- which will lead them to see you as an irreplaceable asset.
The sales will follow.