The “Gift of Gab” does not hold the virtue it once did in sales. Old school sales philosophies told us to bring out the extrovert from within and have lots to say. Nowadays, everything has changed. Prospects no longer want to be talked at by some smooth and slick sales stud. In fact, prospects have grown tremendously weary of this once-hailed approach. In the current market, prospects simply want to be understood and listened to, so the salesperson’s job becomes asking effective questions to determine whether there is a fit between prospect and solution.
Here are three reasons that extroverts are overrated in sales nowadays:
1. The best salespeople are listeners: Extroverts have spent so much time in their lives talking that they often never learned how to effectively listen. Introverts, on the other hand, are born listeners. They can pay close attention to exactly what the prospect is and is not saying.
Whether you are a natural introvert or extrovert, it’s time to start paying much more attention to your prospect. If you are doing any more than 20% of the talking during your selling interactions, you are talking too much.
2. You must be able to observe prospects: Prospects are constantly dropping very subtle hints as to what they need, want or struggle with. However, if you are spending all of your time thinking about what you are going to say next, you are going to miss these cues. The introvert knows how to listen and watch for what the prospect really desires. Even if you are naturally more of an extrovert, it is time to change your mindset to focus on what the prospect is conveying through actions and words.
3. Break the need for approval: Extroverts generally seek to be the life of the party. On a deep level, this is driven by a desire to be well-liked. In social situations, this can translate into popularity. However, in selling situations, this desire for approval can translate into a fear of rejection. When you are afraid to hear the word “no,” you are selling from a place of weakness. Indecision is always worse than a “no,” so let go of the need for your prospect’s approval and instead strive to solidify decisions.
As you can see, extroverts are not the born salespeople that we once thought they were. Introverts naturally possess many characteristics that breed selling success. Whether you are an introvert, extrovert or somewhere in between, follow these three steps to achieve sales mastery.
Do you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert? How does that affect your selling? Please share below in the comments.