Some people would see the title of this page as an oxymoron. How can you be in sales and be an introvert at the same time?
Well you can and it is not easy. For years I have heard about what an extrovert I am. Well the people that see me as an extrovert, do not see me at the end of the day when I get home. The person who immediately heads for some solitude to get relief from the demands of being a sales introvert.
I have been doing this for 40 years. Try being an introvert and entering a room full of people. How do I talk to them? It is not easy. For years I stood in a corner and waited until someone would approach me. The fact is I didn’t really want them to. I just wanted the event to begin. Once I did get into a conversation, I then had to share myself. It took a lot of learning, but eventually I became good at overcoming my fear. I had to or I wouldn’t survive and the funny thing was; I loved selling!!!
The only way I could develop a style was to create an actual relationship. If I was able to connect with the person, I could feel comfortable, because I now knew something about them. That also allowed me to open up about me and voila, we began to do business together.
Well today all that has changed. Try getting an appointment with a C Suite person. It is very difficult. Back in the day, I had the largest drug retailer in the country ask me if I had a bed there. Not today. If you get to see an account twice a year, you are doing well.
OK so now how does a current day introvert survive in this demanding business environment. Well thank goodness for social and you know what, social makes it easy for all of us introverts to compete on the same level playing field as the extroverts! Take that you extroverts.
Today, being successful in social demands that we create relationships. We are back to “in the day”. I know many of you have had the hard sell on a social network like LinkedIn. You connect with someone and immediately get a sales pitch in your inbox. Thanks, but no thanks. Those are the hard sell extroverts. I am not saying they do not have success, but they lose a good number of potential customers with their hard sell attitude.
The nice thing is that if you use social effectively, whether an introvert or an extrovert, you can create relationships that can ultimately result in a sale.
It is not about selling a product, but about relationships. Back in the day, I never led with a product, program or campaign. I always ensured that I made the person safe by asking about them and showing genuine interest. People love to talk about themselves. That hasn’t changed. If you engage people and forget the business speak, but truly engage with them, you are on your way.
What can you do for them besides sell them a product? Can you introduce them to a person in your network that they see as a potential customer? Is their child in a sporting activity and needs a good coach and you can direct them to one? You get the idea.
Doesn’t that sound like the relationships you have in your personal life and wouldn’t you give those people in your personal life your business if you could? Wouldn’t they do the same for you? Of course, because you have a relationship.
So good news introverts, social allows you to be in front of the people that you want to connect with and levels the playing field with the extroverts in a safe environment. As we all know, once we have the relationship, the face to face meeting is not an effort, but a wonderful experience with a trusted friend.
So, use social to create relationships first. Once you have established that, the business will take care of itself.