Charming, outgoing, funny, and charismatic: These are all terms that come to mind when you think of a good sales person. They know how to carry on a conversion with just about anyone, and they seem to never stumble. There’s nothing they’re unafraid to say, and you definitely will have a hard time detecting any hint of fear.
You probably read that and thought, “Well great, that doesn’t even begin to describe me. I’m doomed.” While being extroverted is the stereotypical characteristic of a sales person, it isn’t the only type of personality that can sell successfully. While more people than not who are successful in sales could be characterized as “outgoing,” the fact is introverts and even people who describe themselves as “shy” can be successful in sales too. In fact, they can probably be even more successful.
1. Be yourself.
If you’re shy, you likely have a hard time presenting a confident image. And that’s OK because if that’s not who you really are, people will see right through it. For introverts to sell, the best tactic you can use is to be your honest, trustworthy, and meek self. People will notice your sincerity and will believe you are more likely to have their best interests in mind. This builds trust, and when they trust you, they will buy.
2. Focus on your listening.
Introverts make better listeners, and that’s a big advantage you have when it comes to trying to sell your product or service. Harness that skill and focus on what the other person is saying and how you can help them meet their needs. You should not talk someone else into buying; the real key is understanding another person’s needs and knowing why your products or services can impact those needs.
3. Use preparation to your advantage.
While extroverts are good at spontaneously coming up with the right thing to say, you may struggle with this. To help your success rate, be sure to take advantage of your natural ability to prepare. Make notes and plan out common objections and responses you might have.
4. Ask questions
This tip goes along strongly with listening. If you are silent, most people will keep talking and tell you some of what you need to know. Many times sales people try to fill in the dead parts of conversation, when that could actually be hurting you all along. Give the prospect time to think what you’re saying on their own. During that time, think of the questions you need to ask them. Part of what you need to know remains hidden, and the key to discovering that information lies in asking the right questions.
5. Use promptness to your advantage
If someone calls you or emails you, return their contact right away. People feel important and trust you even more when you are prompt. The sooner you can guarantee you’ll be back to then, the better people feel. When you have that time, whether it’s 2 hours or 24 hours, tout that as one of your competitive advantages. People want to work with people who actually respond to then.
Even though you get nervous and uptight, force that smile out in the open. People focus much more on the positive and will ignore any of the nervous or anxious body language you might send them if you’re sincerely being friendly, and a smile can go a long in doing that.
7. Let go of negative thinking.
As an introvert, you are prone to evaluate your social interactions with others in a negative way. Maintain a level head and let go of negative thinking by remembering that unless someone says something, they probably didn’t even notice what you believe went wrong.
About the Author
Erin Leigh is a freelance writer for Schulz Business, a sales training company providing customer sales and marketing assessments for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations.