Believe it or not, all really good sales people are not extroverts or WOOers (aka: people with an ability to win others over).
Take the introvert personality type for example. First, it is important to realize that while introverted personality types may not have a tendency toward being “the life of the party” or even care about such things for that matter, it does not mean they can’t “turn it on” when/as needed. Unlike a true extrovert, they don’t tend to be “fueled” by participating in every networking event in town but that doesn’t mean that as sales people, introverts can’t network with the best of ‘em.
In fact, I’d argue all day long that the extroverts (of which I am one so I feel pretty justified in saying this) could stand to learn a thing or two from the introverts – much like the hare learned from his race with the tortoise – especially when it comes to networking.
I recently conducted sales training on the subject of networking – a topic and activity I’m personally energized by in sales. In preparation to conduct the training, I brushed-up on what makes great networkers successful and I was reminded of one of my own challenges as a high “E” on the extroversion scale – the patient art of being a good listener.
How often do we meet someone new, yet never even have a clue about who they really are or how we can help them before we’re on our way? Networking is a process. It is not about the short term play – but rather a long term strategy. In this case, whoever is “in a race” to talk fast and collect the most business cards by the end of the event, DOES NOT win. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Networking is about farming and cultivating valuable relationships over time.
Where many extroverted types (you know, the ones that tend to like the sound of their own voice) can excel in certain aspects of sales, introverted types who have mastered the skill of listening will have a more natural propensity to be perceived as genuine for their ability to truly hear – and therefore be more likely to solve – their client’s problem.
The tortoise has a “built-in” competitive edge when it comes to building stronger, trusted, more meaningful, relationships. The winning result will be more leads, referrals, opportunities and long term clients.
Agree or disagree? Which type are you? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d enjoy hearing from you!
Principal Coach, Consultant and Trainer
Strengths Finder 2.0: WOO } Activator } Strategic } Communication } Ideation