Not all sales professionals are confident and the industry is now opening up to different skills and personalities. Lets take a look at how being an introvert can work to your advantage.
Definition of an introvert?
Traditionally introverts will shy away from large groups and feels more comfortable in familiar circles of friends and family.
“a shy, reticent person.”Google dictionary
Often an observer, they require time to analyse and gather their thoughts, building and rejuvenating their inner strength.
Often avoid being the center of attention and struggle to make small talk.
Introverts prefer to have a one on one conversation rather than participate in large groups.
Sales stereotypes becoming a myth
Previously sales men and women were characterized as being over confident, ruthless, perhaps arrogant and dishonest.
This is not to say all sales professionals had these characteristics, but the industry as a whole was looked upon negatively as these practices gave it a bad name.
Over the past ten years and with the rise of social media, the industry is slowly gaining respect and has changed its approach to selling.
Professionals are now recognizing the benefits of being more consumer focused and are steering away from the hard sell.
This now means that the profession is not only open to the hard hitting or over confident sales professionals, but also applicants who are more introverted and a little more socially awkward.
Positive attributes of being an introvert in the sales industry
Whether you are in sales or not, at some point of your day, week or life, you would have sold something, or talked someone round to doing something.
Perhaps you have convinced a partner or friend to go on holiday with you, persuaded your children to go to sleep. Whatever it is, sales in something we all do subconsciously.
In general, introverts tend to listen rather than talk. A great and very on-trend skill to have.
Modern sales techniques now require the seller to listen to the customers’ needs and build relationships based on what the customers’ requirements are.
Customers will naturally respond positively to the seller if they are listened to. Pushy and over-confident sellers who over talk are an instant put off for customers.
There is no need for cheesy sales one-liners. Introverts cringe at the thought of reeling off a trail of cheesy sales quotes. Quotes such as “it’s a no brainer”, “I’m going to be honest with you” or “What keeps you up at night?”
These quotes are contradictory and more often than not, have the opposite effect and plant a seed of doubt in the consumer.
They key is to be honest, know your client and listen to what they want and understand how your product can help their business. The listening attributes of an introvert will go a long way to achieving this.
Learn to embrace your introvert qualities of being a good listener and analyzer of people.
Its about the psychology
There is a psychology to selling, but this psychology can apply to all areas and situations, not just sales.
The ability to get your consumer to have an emotional need for your product/service is key and will only increase the prospects trust.
Try to get them to visualize your product. How can it help grow their business? Do they need you?
It’s all in the preparation
Make sure you have all the knowledge and credentials about your company/product or service at hand before you make a call.
Do your research and make sure you understand the clients needs. Do they need your product/service, how can you benefit them financially, how can you guarantee ROI (return on investment)?
Knowledge is key to power. Prospects will always ask questions, so be prepared.
The most confident of sales professional can fail if they give the wrong information or come across as unprepared.
Recognize your strengths
It is important to tap into your key strengths. If you know you are not comfortable waffling on and filling your customers heads with jargon, then tell them from the start. It may get their attention from the get go.
Always ask questions. Asking questions allows you to gain insight into what your prospects needs are.
Customers would rather you ask questions than talking at them, it shows interest and consideration.
Asking question will also prompt the prospect to do the talking, saving you from embarrassing silences, allowing you to react and think of new questions to ask.
Surround yourself with support
Be realistic with your goals, take small steps each day to fulfill your goal not someone else’s. Make a plan of where you want to be in six months and then review your progress.
Never be afraid to ask for help. It may be from colleagues who you see doing well, or it may be extra training through your employer. If all else fails, the internet has a wealth of information to professionals.
No-one is perfect, even the best sales people are always learning. If you know everything, then there is no where else to go. Arm yourself with knowledge.
Introverts usually shy away from danger. However there is nothing dangerous about sales, the worse that can happen is that the prospect says ‘No’.
Try to push yourself a little. It maybe that you set yourself a daily challenge, a certain amount of hits or asking a colleague a question. Move away from your comfort zone every now and then, you will feel better for it.
Always be closing (ABC)
No matter how good or bad you feel the conversation went, the fact that you still have to prospect on the phone means that they haven’t said no – Yet!
Never leave the call open, get a date in the diary. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Asking for a follow up means that you are interested in the prospect and that you want their business. This is also a good way to end a conversation.
Research Runner is a global sales consultancy. Experts in lead generation and new business, we are there for all your sales needs. Please contact us for a free quote or to discuss your business requirements. Lets see what we can do for you.