Updated: Jan 13
Enlisting Your Skills to Debunk the Myth
Introverts are not a likely choice for a sales role. They may not even think so themselves. However, they can be a great asset to an organization. Introverts are particularly valuable in high-ticket, long-term, complex sales. Their distinctive skills will soar when convincing people of value, influencing behavioral change, and thoroughly implementing a new product or service.
I'm so proud to welcome Alicia Dale as our guest blogger. Alicia shares her tremendous sales experience as an introvert. She has built a strong track record for complex sales and now enlists her skills as a ghost writer for business leaders. I'm sure you will enjoy her uplifting message!
Unfortunately, the behavioral assessments used to measure which individuals will excel in a sales role rarely measure the important traits introverts bring to this essential job. As the world becomes smaller and more globally connected, the view of what makes an individual successful in the United States is coming under scrutiny. The unintentional and likely well-meaning inherent bias is beginning to be revealed.
The hiring Sales Manager or Human Resources representative may not understand these skills or recognize their value. Sometimes it takes a bit longer to cultivate the sale. The introverted salesperson may be dismissed as 'nice' and labeled as 'not aggressive' enough. They may be ostracized for missing an important social gathering while they were focused on the stated goals. The soft skills the introverted salesperson possesses that are difficult to identify and even harder to measure may not be understood or valued. Though the introverted salesperson may ultimately be a success or failure at the organization, the measurement will not necessarily reflect their true value. However, the introvert will be successful by harnessing their unique talents wherever they go.
Flexing Introvert Muscles
Introverts often need to find time to concentrate. This intense focus will be a strong competitive advantage in multi-layered transactions. Introvert's circumspect analysis will help to identify any potential barriers to implementation.
The introverted salesperson will encounter situations where several educated, informed professionals will exert their passionate opinions about how things should be done in the organization. The skilled introverted salesperson will use their gift of listening and observation to understand all of the personality dynamics and operational requirements.
Inherent Kindness Shines Through
The introverted salesperson may be recognized as someone who excels at soft skills. They probably understand that every person they meet can advance their ability to achieve their goal or put up a roadblock. The introvert understands that power does not lie in titles. The person who holds the title may or may not be qualified for their job, and they may or may not be motivated to execute their job well.
Since the introvert is comfortable writing and is confident in the fact that clear writing is a reflection of clear thinking, they'll document their insights into the company's customer relationship management system (CRM). Once documented, the company will now have the information they can use for repetitive success.
Introverts are Great Relationship Builders
There's an old sales adage called 'selling three levels deep'. The wisdom notes that the salesperson should intimately know their contact, the leader they report to, and who reports to the contact. The introverted salesperson will live by this adage. They often know the names of all the people they meet in an organization. They'll warmly greet the security guards who work the morning shift, the day shift, and the night shift. They recognize the people who set up meeting rooms and serve food. They'll know the named decision-maker and the people in their inner circle. They will have a strong position when any of these people move on to a new organization or start a new career. The introverted salesperson's authentic connections will benefit them as they grow and change fields as well.
Celebration Turns to Lessons Learned
The introverted salesperson will also use the opportunity to become more self-aware. If the sale is won, they will take a minute to celebrate success. They won't spend too much time at the celebration party because large crowds of people admiring their success aren't really what motivates them. They'll stay for a while, use the skills they've developed to graciously welcome and connect with guests, and then depart.
Once they escape the reward that wasn't a reward for them at all, they will take time to assess their behaviors and interactions. Even if the sale never occurs, the introverted salesperson will use their skill of reflection to learn from the situation. They'll probably identify what went well and also highlight what could have been implemented better. They'll question if their success was due to luck, the current environment, the product or service offering, the company's competitive advantage, or the competing company's weakness or failures in the process. Perhaps they'll even take time to recognize their own sales prowess.
Introverts can excel at sales merely by using their authentic skills and determination!
About Alicia Dale
Alicia Dale was a successful salesperson in long-term, complex multi-million dollar sales roles. She sold at Ryder Transportation Systems and GE Capital and went on to create her own firm where she taught the value of hard-to-measure skills for thousands of middle-market companies throughout the United States.
Alicia's efforts helped organizations earn millions of dollars in sales and create long-term mutually beneficial client relationships.