Are you an introvert in a sales role? No, it’s not an oxymoron. It’s an opportunity to use your strengths for your advantage.
All introverts, please raise your hand… Anyone?
Now – that is the typical view of introverts. Those who are shy, reserved, and inside themselves – and not the ones who raise their hands. They don’t want to stand out. They don’t want to be in the spot light.
Well, that’s actually a bit inaccurate.
Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking has a different definition.
Introverts have a preference for a quiet, more minimally stimulating environment. They listen more than they talk, they show caution to risk, and tend to think more than act.
It’s not about being shy. It’s a perspective on relationships, life, energy, and personhood that affects how they want to run their lives.
So, with this working definition, being an introvert has little to do with abilities, let alone with having some kind of disadvantage over the extroverts we might expect in a sales role. It also leads to the reality that sales is not a role that is only for extroverts.
So, How Should Introverts Sell?
I think introverts (being one myself) can be very competent business development professionals in the B2B space – because developing business involves developing relationships.
Yes, we can dive into cold calls, card swaps, and other extroversion-based activities, but if you’re an introvert, that will not be your sweet spot. The struggle will be almost primal, against all aspects of your personality – and for the right reasons.
Introverts are going to do well in certain areas of the sales process.
- One-to-one networking lunches
- Meeting with prospects early-on
- Talking about their company and service to a smaller audience
- Gathering needs and reflective listening
- Developing real relationships, not surface acquaintances.
The key is to shape your engagements and interactions toward areas of your strengths, and supplement your weaknesses with additional strategies for success.
That is how marketing can help the introvert more successful.
Marketing + Introverts = Success
There are a few areas that marketing can help the introvert with to develop more business. These are ways to leverage the strengths of marketing to complement the areas and tasks that introverts don’t really excel in.
Introverts are not going to be capturing new leads at the same rate as extroverts, due to the challenge of doing large anonymous events or making cold calls that require a high stimulus.
Allowing marketing to help generate leads puts the introvert in the driver’s seat. The prospect shows interest online, and submits information for a conversation. This puts the introvert into the driver’s seat in the relationship for a real conversation.
Introverts can also feel like they’re communicating too much in the sales process. They don’t want to do follow ups, or “pop-bys”.
Marketing can create lead nurture campaigns that help communicate value to a prospect in the sales process without the sales person having to do the redundant and repetitive reach out. And, being that it can be customized and personalized, it’s a win-win for introverted sales professionals who want each communication to be meaningful.
Social Media Marketing
At times the entire concept of social media is a bit of a challenge for introverts. It’s overwhelming and daunting if they are trying to use it for sales, and it feels inauthentic at times.
This is where having some outside perspective on social media marketing can help. Either through additional editorial guidance, or even ghost-posting, marketing can help provide the content and interactions needed to succeed on social media. Additionally, introverts can leverage their personality to help establish and communicate with those relationships they want to nurture.
The Rise of Introverted Selling
I think the world needs more introverts in the sales or business development roles. In the B2B space, we have a real need for authenticity and expertise that can help develop value in the marketplace. Especially in the US, we have some of the best and brightest in the world here, but without marketing the world will never know about them.