Four Simple Sales Tips that Help Introverts Become Sales Champions by Will Schneider

Solutions-Introvert-Sales-TipsOutside of public speaking engagements, there most likely isn’t anything higher on the list of “least liked business activities” for introverts than proactive selling. From cold calling and pounding the pavement, to asking a potential prospect for the sale, proactive sales skills usually fall well outside of the core competencies of most introverts. And while consistent time and practice can bring a new level of comfort with performing these functions, chances are that it will never become a core strength that is anxiously anticipated. So in order to surpass the extroverted competition, introverts must come up with other ways of leveraging their strengths to effectively compete in the sales world. The following four sales tips are not only proven characteristics of high performing sales people, but they also capitalize on the innate skills of introverts.

Pay Close Attention to Each and Every Point of Contact, Regardless of How Trivial

As sales representatives, we offer a unique vantage point into the organization on the whole. The ways in which we interact with prospects say a lot about the style and tone of the organization as well as the way that prospects can expect to be treated once they become a customer. Most prospects know that it’s important to pay close attention to all of the interactions that they have with you, as these interactions will be leading indicators of future performance. If something rubs them the wrong way, it may be reason enough to steer clear altogether. Similarly, if they feel comfortable with the interactions, then they may very well choose you as their provider. As an introvert, you can use your self awareness to your advantage and adapt your interactions to meet the needs of each individual prospect by paying close attention to the verbal and nonverbal clues given by the prospect.

Make Sure You Provide Lightning Quick Response Time

Many a deal has been won or lost simply due to the response time of the sales representative. How quickly you respond to the requests of the prospect says a lot about how much you value their time. And the quicker and more consistently that you respond to each request, the more likely you are to win their business. This is a very significant factor in the decision making process, and it’s something that introverts can use to their advantage. Rather than having to “perform” like a social butterfly, it’s somewhat comforting to know that prospects greatly value the quickness and thoroughness of each response. Of course, most sales representatives, even extroverts, tend to put their best foot forward for getting pricing proposals to prospects in a timely fashion. But take it a step further by attempting to be the first to respond at every point in the process. This will give you a serious leg up against your competition.

Make it a Point to Act as a Consultant Instead of a Sales Rep

One of the greatest sales tips of all time involves the notion of doing everything that you can to make sure that you don’t look like a sales rep! Instead of conveying to the prospect that you’re only interested in winning their business, attempt to establish the perception that you are a trusted consultant. Consultants don’t cram useless information down the throats of prospects. Instead, they help the prospect learn more about their needs and find the best solution to their problems. This takes a huge weight off of your shoulders as an introvert, knowing that you don’t have to “perform”. Instead, the value that you offer is in giving excellent advice and being able to answer any questions that they have about your product or service in general.

Use Your Strength as a Listener to Your Advantage

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for sales consultants to speak predominantly about themselves. From awards their company has won, to customers they service, to services they provide – most sales representatives talk more than they listen. Highly successful sales people, on the other hand, understand that most customers are unique in their needs, and ask many detailed questions of prospects to determine what’s important to them. For the introvert, listening and asking probing questions that explore the true needs and desires of the prospect make the entire sales process less intimidating, while at the same time give them a tremendous advantage over the competition.

Will-SchneiderWill Schneider is President of FulfillmentCompanies.net, an online service that helps businesses find pre-screened Fulfillment Houses. He is an advocate of the Sandler Sales Training methodology, which has helped him overcome his introverted tendencies in the sales arena.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Cheryl Therrien
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    All very good points. I am not a sales person or consultant in any sense of the words. I am a great trainer once the sale has been made. Write the book. I am there. Introvert in the literal sense. Yup. That’s me. 🙂
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…Equivalent Fractions: Is It Fair?My Profile

  2. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)
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    What a great post! I spent my career in sales. Interestingly enough, I only became successful when I started honestly putting the customers needs before my quota! Because long term, that’s the true value of a good salesman I think. Listening is key…such a great point and a skill so few have learned. Showing up was also important. Part of my territory was in the hinterlands of Northern Wisconsin…a place nobody liked to go too often. I started being there once a month, every single month and my sales doubles in the second year. Not only did the customers feel valued, they knew I was dependable.
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Arguments and Women…Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  3. I really like this post. Even though I am not in sales, per se, my current position is one of ensuring that our customer experience is high. It is important for the prospective customer to understand that they are not buying a product or service, but rather entering into a partnership. I much prefer to work with vendors that are looking for success and growth through a shared vision, than those that are simply looking for a sale.

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. This is exactly what I’m working on trying to get this business going. I’m focusing on the consulting side rather than the sales. You have to get the foothold in place being there for your customer, helping them determine what would work best for their situation, getting them answers in a timely fashion, etc. before you can truly sell them on your product or service.
    Cassi recently posted…How Slim Did I Go?My Profile

  5. I’m an introvert but that does not mean I can’t talk to people. I just get my energy from quiet surroundings, which makes me think of another tip. I find I do better if I ask a potential client to coffee/tea, where I can talk to them one on one. Get to know them and meet their needs that way.
    Joanne recently posted…15 tips for taking the S.A.T.sMy Profile

  6. Regardless of what you do, the client’s perspective should always be the focal point. A few years back when H1N1 was shaping up to be the flu to stop all flues I was asked to launch an internal communications campaign to get our thousands of front line staff to be immunized. Believe it or not, health professionals have lower immunization rates than the general public, so when my CEO said she wanted at least 80% immunization, this was no small task for an organization that employs 3000 nurses, not to mention well over 1000 personal support workers. When I called around to different companies that do branding of products only one called me back right away, listened to what I said and immediately came up with ideas I could implement internally. Our sales rep followed every tip you mentioned above. Despite never having worked with her before, I felt confident in leaving her to do the sorting, mailing and producing of the products while I went about getting a poster, Powerpoints and other paraphernalia ready. We’re still friends today.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Label Blindness – When You Become Trapped By Your TitleMy Profile

  7. All great tips. As an introvert, I often convince myself I can’t do certain things. But at least I have a stubborn side that speaks to the non-joiner in me who says, “You are being silly. Just do it!” I think I’m headed in the write direction when it comes to starting a freelance editing business. I’m getting better at seeing how lessons I learned as a teacher transfer over to starting a business. Teachers have to be good sales people, otherwise students jump ship.
    Jeri recently posted…Back to School (Again)… Graduate School Part Deux!My Profile

  8. Kellie Annesley-Smith says

    Great article! As an entrepreneur we must integrate the sales mentality – I often find this hard because I am an introvert. I’m not that great at talking about me but find myself wanting to talk about my clients needs – which I suppose is a winning factor for customer service. Thanks for the reminder.
    Kellie Annesley-Smith recently posted…Turning Pro. Is it time for your little biz or blog to look professional?My Profile

  9. Jeannette Paladino
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    I think one hump we need to get over is that selling means trying to get someone to buy something they don’t need or want. Instead, we need to remind ourselves that we have something to offer that will benefit the prospect. It doesn’t feel like selling any more when you truly know and can convey to the prospect just how you or your service or product will make his life easier, more profitable, etc.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Why You Should Edit the Headlines in Your LinkedIn DiscussionsMy Profile

  10. Krystyna Lagowski
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    Cold calling is the worst! But I find that if you prepare your pitch ahead of time, and know when to persevere and when to back down, it makes a huge difference. For me, it’s the anticipation of cold calling that turns me off. Once I get started, with my notes in hand, I get an adrenalin rush. Especially when I get a positive response! I do think it’s the anticipation that fills most of us with dread. : ))
    Krystyna Lagowski recently posted…Miata has all the right movesMy Profile

  11. I have spent most of my life selling. I find the most important thing is to listen and shut up. I find it annoying when the salesperson is doing all the talking and is not listening to what I am saying. What has worked for me is to find a common ground with the person I am selling, this immediately makes them feel more at ease. If you can prove to your customer that you are credible, they will listen to you more. I don’t mean bring out all the awards, but show the customer what you have that makes you stand out.I always ask the customer what can I do to help you? Show the person you really care. Know how to close without being pushy. I sold real estate for 25 years and the on thing I would hear over and over is that they like my honesty. You have to believe in what you are selling before you can be successful.
    Arleen recently posted…How Taking a Break Can Help You Be More ProductiveMy Profile

  12. I have used to be a bit more extrovert than introvert, but these days it has swayed much more toward introvert. Same with my listening skills, I guess after being sick for so long and not being around a lot of people I have completely changed.
    These points were very interesting as I need a new set of skills to change with how I have changed.

  13. For certain our tendencies might change over time Becc, because we are learning things as well go along with each change in life. Thanks.
    PatriciaWeber recently posted…Publisher and Author: How your dreams move into reality when you have helpMy Profile

  14. Hi WIll (and Patricia),

    I can certainly relate to the challenges of becoming a self promoter, as a seriously shy introvert. I now find myself inspiring clients, generally kicking and screaming, to become more visible. It always amazes me that people want very successful careers in sales, but also desire to remain completely anonymous :-).

    Great post!

    – Cole
    Cole Wiebe recently posted…Do We Need Social Media if We’re Creating Regular Content on Our Website?My Profile

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