5 Tips For Introverts Starting a Sales Career
5 Tips For Introverts Starting a Sales Career

Sales wouldn’t seem to be the go-to industry for introverts. But you don’t have to be Type A to succeed in a sales career. Here are five tips on how introverts can match up with their more gregarious colleagues:

1. Embrace the uncomfortable: Some introverts may struggle with the ins and outs of a sales call early on in their careers. In a piece for Entrepreneur, sales consultant and author Grant Cardone details his own introverted tendencies, and how he forces himself to adapt. This includes doing one thing a day that he fears. “It’s very important for me do the things that make me most uncomfortable,” he writes. “You need to be courageous and make a point of facing your fears, no matter how big or small. The single scariest thing for me was visiting my customers or prospects in person. So that is exactly what I did first thing every day to get over my fear. It instilled courage in me, belief in myself and changed my focus from limitations to possibilities.”

2. Aim for long-term relationships: Think about some of the extroverts you encountered in high school — the people who seemed to be casual friends with everyone, constantly trading exchanges in the halls. Introverts, meanwhile, tend to stick with a few close friends. In sales, that can be an advantage, as Trent Hand says in a story for lifehack.org. “It’s easy to make connections,” he writes of extroverts, “but because they are connected to so many people, it’s difficult to develop deep relationships.” Introverts can go a bit deeper, he says: “They really want to get to know the customer and help them over time. They aren’t looking for a single sale to get a bonus; they’re building a list of clients they can service for years, which creates a constant stream of referrals and repeat business. It takes longer to build this type of sales cycle, but it’s the only way to create long-term success.”

3. Be an expert: Preparation and research before a sales call can make the difference in landing a new client. This is also right in an introvert’s wheelhouse. Business coach and author Nancy Ancowitz writes that salespeople should be able to “speak their language and share what’s relevant to them” in a story for psychologytoday.com. “As an introvert you are inclined to attain deep knowledge in your areas of interest,” she says. “Sharing your knowledge will help inspire trust in your customers.”

4. Get out: Socializing doesn’t often rank highly on an introvert’s priority list. But Cardone writes that forcing himself to do that has helped him in sales situations. “When I move to a new city, I will go to the same place over and over until I am comfortable and know everyone there,” he says. “I have done this same thing with my children, bringing them to the same grocery store every morning until they could talk to the people working there as family.”

5. Listen up: Extroverts often have the gift of gab, and that can certainly be an effective part of their sales approach. But introverts can find success in the opposite direction. Sales consultant and author Alen Mayer explores this in a story for the National Association of Sales Professionals. “Introverts … are quite adept at letting people talk around them,” he writes. “They take in all the details and statements, asking questions for more information, and getting the big picture that matters to the customer versus a script. In fact, many introverts will spend more than two-thirds of the sales meeting discussion asking the questions rather than wasting time on a pitch. Listening provides access to key information, especially details that are valuable to allowing the introvert salesperson to connect with a client personally versus in generic terms.”

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About the author
Stephanie Bauer
Stephanie Bauer works as marketing specialist, brand strategist, social media enthusiast and all-around whiz at Worldwide Express' corporate office in Dallas. Find me on Google+

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