Can Introvert and Shy Salespeople Find Happy Hour Bliss?

Some history claims that the first happy hour was in a local pub in Ireland. Others attribute that this before dinner reduced price drinks event started in the 1920’s as the Navy’s slang for its on-ship entertainment. Regardless what happens, introverts and extroverts would design a Happy Hour quite differently.

A question about the happy hour event becomes:

Can Introvert and Shy Salespeople Find Happy Hour Bliss?

Happy Hour mood music.happy-hour-music

Introvert – If we have to have music, nothing more than soft playing music in the background. I want to hear both others and myself talk.

Extrovert – Crank up the tunes. Loud and upbeat music will get things stirring. In my most recent book, I mentioned research that found it depends both on the task and the temperament of the employee, of who performs better with music.

If you are wondering who works better with music, it’s extroverts. It turns out that even background music can cause some introverts to have worse performance.

Happy Hour lighting.happy-hour-lighting

Introvert – When I’m talking, I prefer we can see each other. Real connections mean real conversation.

Extrovert – Let’s have the lights dimmed or turned up. Either way, I’m there for the conversation; as much conversation as I can have.

Lighting affects our mental state and performance. Just recently my husband and I were entertaining a small group of close friends. Even he, an extrovert, prefers we dim the lights after dinner.

Happy Hour networking.

Introvert – Have the sidelines around the bar marked so I can stand and observe for a time. I’ll need a little time to join in. And this isn’t because of being shy or anxious. It’s because scoping out the territory allows for me to either find people I know, or people I want to meet, or even people who can help me with an introduction to people I want to meet.

Extroverts – Have happy feet on the floor pointing the way to the center of the action; that’s where I want to be from the get-go! I’ll dance into the middle of the action following their feet if I know them. They are just naturally stimulated by all that goes on around them.

happy-hour-groupHappy hour number of people.

Introvert – I’m most comfortable in smaller groups. For me one is company, and two can be a crowd. Maybe a group of two to twenty people max.

When I do attend networking events, I tend to arrive early when fewer people are there. Fewer people are more comfortable for me. Conversations are more personal and less superficial. At least, that is my experience.

Extrovert – If we’re going to be happy, we need lots of people. Crowds – all the people the space can hold is energizing.

In attending hundreds of networking events over the years, I’ve noticed that the more attendees who show up over time, the less we quiet types are talking. That’s one reason going early with a plan makes more sense for us.

Happy Hour title.

Introvert – I’d be attracted to something like “Friendship Hour,” or “Get Acquainted Hour.”happy-hour-time

Extrovert – Any title with the word “Happy” or better yet, “Party” in it is for me. It’s the event I’m after and the happier, the better.

Happy Hour time of day.

Introvert – As long as I plan to have some quiet time before and after, I can be okay at a Happy Hour gathering. If I’ve had a big extroverting day, I won’t have the energy at the end of the day to last long.

Extrovert – It seems to be that the end of the day is perfect. Although starting the day off with a lot of people would be energizing too. Hey, what about a morning hour with espresso coffee?

Can Introvert and Shy Salespeople Find Happy Hour Bliss?

Happy hour with happy endings may have a different meaning for introvert and extrovert salespeople.

Why is it critical for anyone in business to recognize their preference? Because to enjoy any event like this, if you can prepare for it, very likely you will find yourself enjoying it and be making connections with friends, clients, and even connectors.

Originally posted December 6, 2008; photos/images from via FotoPress


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  1. Jeannette Paladino

    Patricia — maybe in my old age I’m turning into an introvert, but never have I been able to work with music in the background. I need quiet when I’m working. As an extrovert, I still find it difficult when entering a room full of people all networking like crazy. A friend who coaches executives on networking gave me a great line which always works when you want to join a group, “You look like a friendly group. May I join you?” Never interrupt two people talking unless you like having daggers thrown at you.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Inc. 500 Ratchets Up Social Media EngagementMy Profile

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