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5 Reasons You Want An Introvert In Your B2B Sales Position

by Doug Davidoff | Apr 18, 2014 4:15:00 PM

I was talking with a referral partner yesterday who wanted to introduce me to one of his introvert_gandhiclients.  He told me that his client was looking to redesign his approach to sales because he realized he’s an introvert, and isn’t sure he can lead a sales effort.

I share this story, because I hear it often. Can an introvert succeed in sales?

The answer, unequivocally, is “Yes!” How do I know? Because I am one.

When I share this with many people who have met me through business, they’re surprised by it.  After all, I’m comfortable speaking in front of large groups as well as addressing CEOs in 1:1 interactions.

I’ve learned through the years that not only can introverts sell, they tend to be better at it than extroverts. Now, I’m not about to say that I’ll hire an introvert over an extrovert every time, I adamantly believe that an interested introvert will outsell an interesting extrovert every day of the week (and, yes, twice on Sunday).

Through the years, I’ve identified 5 important advantages that introverts have in selling over extroverts:

  1. Introverts are far more interested.
I’ve said it before, curiosity is one of the most powerful talents any person can have, and especially a salesperson. Introverts tend to be more curious. They tend to be thinkers, and often, deep thinkers.
They also prefer to have the focus on the person they’re speaking with, so they avoid the small talk and naturally connect to deeper levels of a conversation.  I’m in no way saying extroverts can’t or don’t do this, just that it comes more naturally to an introvert.

  1. Introverts more naturally control the conversation.
Because they’re more naturally curious, and they’d prefer to have the focus on someone else (even if they love the spotlight), they ask more questions.  Extroverts have so much confidence in their “gift of gab” that they talk more and tell.

It’s very easy to know who is controlling a sales conversation. All you need to do is identify who’s asking the questions.

  1.   Introverts love systems.
The biggest discovery I’ve made in 25 years of studying sales and sales systems is that the driver of success is the underlying system that guides the behavior.  Extroverts, because of their love of engaging and sharing, tend to fight the system because half of the fun is seeing what unexpected things happen.

Introverts want to exert as little energy in the process as they can.  Where extroverts have virtually unlimited energy to engage with others, introverts have very limited energy.  Therefore they prepare and utilize the systems that exist to leverage their energy and get the biggest result for their efforts.  They also tend to learn from their mistakes more quickly.

  1. Introverts stay the course.
In today’s complex, confusing world it’s very easy to lose focus and to be pulled off course.  Extroverts, because of their love of engagement, get frustrated earlier when people don’t respond to their inquiries positively.

Introverts, on the other hand, will stick to the course and work through the resistance more naturally.  Because of their preparation and focus they will have more confidence in the time they put forward. They’re less likely to chase “false positives,” and more likely to burrow through the obstacles that appear early with good opportunities.

  1.   Introverts have personalities built for Inbound.
I’ve always loved the term, “I’ve a face built for radio.”  Well, introverts were built for inbound.  They would rather spend their time dazzling with brilliance, than baffling with bullshit.

Introverts get that the sale isn’t about them. They’ll use (and appreciate) the valuable assets that their content marketing team has developed, and provide the feedback that is critical to creating valuable content. They’ll embrace the length of the sales cycle and won’t try to rush things.  They use the tools they’re given, and they have the patience that’s needed in today’s world.

So, yes, extroverts can be successful, but I’ll put my money on the introvert any day.