We’ve written before how up to 50% of the population can be described as introverted, meaning that undoubtedly in your sales career it will be necessary for you to develop the skills and strategies needed to appeal to introverted clients.
The most basic definition of an introvert compared to an extrovert is that extroverts like to focus on what's going on outside their heads while introverts prefer to focus on what's inside. Here we’ll take a look at the top characteristics and preferences of introverts and what you can do as a salesperson to appeal to each.
Introvert Characteristic #1 - Energized By Spending Time Alone
It’s not just that introverts prefer to spend time alone, it’s that they are actually energized by it. You can use this to your advantage in sales by giving them materials to peruse alone and at their leisure. They will likely look more favourably on your product or service if they are given the chance to come to their own conclusions about it without you overtly selling it to them.
In this way, introverts are the perfect types to connect with over social media. They may not be the person who shares a lot of content or posts regularly, but they are probably, for lack of a better word, lurking there, consuming content. Reach them by sharing interesting content about your product or service and make sure your website has a way that they can request more information online without having to pick up the phone.
When it comes to actually reaching out, it is important that you don’t overwhelm them with contact. Sending them an email, text or social media message are far preferable to an introvert than a phone call since these means of contact are less invasive. Remember this throughout your relationship with them and honour their preferences. When you do connect in person or on the phone, respect their time and space, keep meetings short to give them time to recharge. Always come to in-person meetings with materials for them to take home and read alone in their prefered environment.
Introvert Characteristic #2 - Quiet and Private
If you’re an extrovert, you probably love to chat and enjoy building relationships with clients. Indeed, sales is of course all about relationship building! However, although asking discovery questions is one of the most important tools in your sales toolbox, with introverts, you need to be careful how you go about asking questions. Avoid small talk and asking personal questions that will make them feel uncomfortable. Instead, draw introverts out by being warm and friendly but by sticking to open-ended questions that directly relate to the business at hand.
Introvert Characteristic #3 - Deliberate and Thinks Before Speaking
Introverts are very self-aware and are constantly analysing not only what is going on around them but also their own reaction. Therefore it’s important that you give an introvert space to answer a question in their own time. Show that you understand and value that they have put thought into their response by acknowledging it and reflecting back on what they have said. Make use of active listening skills to take the pertinent information in their answer and build on it in your own response. An introvert will give short shrift to someone who does not listen to them and will view you unfavourably as an aggressive/cocky salesperson.
Introvert Characteristic #4 - Independent
Although they may not always share their views and feelings, be aware that introverts are very independent. Spending a lot of time in their own heads, introverts have full inner worlds and are not swayed by the crowd. Whether they share them or not, they have strong opinions which you will need to draw out over time. To sell to them, you will need to find a unique approach that takes into account their views and does not rely on a one size fits all approach. Inauthenticity is like nails on a blackboard to an introvert and they can hear it a mile away. Take the time to learn about what they need and how you can provide a solution that will help.