How To Be Successful in Sales as an Introvert
There are over 13 million people in sales or sales-related positions, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. How many of them do you think consider themselves introverts?
If you’re like most people, you probably think sales positions are made up of primarily outgoing, energetic, extroverted people. However, introverted individuals are and can be just as successful in this line of work.
Their excellent listening and written communication skills and ability to motivate themselves are just the beginning of the list of traits introverts have that enable a thriving sales career.
That said, introverts are known to be more reserved, turn inward more often than not, and work at a different, sometimes slower pace than their extroverted coworkers — all of which can hinder a career in sales.
So, how can you thrive despite these things? Implement these ten tips.
Understand the Ins and Outs of Sales
Sales is much more than a smooth-talking salesperson closing deal after deal. Meetings and relationship-building are obviously important. But being successful in sales requires much more than this. It’s essential to know what that “much more” looks like.
Dig into research about the ins and outs of sales and what it takes to be successful. For example, look into questions like:
- What types of sales approaches are there?
- How do you measure success in the field?
- How does a sales funnel work?
- What other departments must you work well with?
Also, study human behavior in general by asking:
- Why do they make the decisions they make?
- What prompts people to take specific actions?
- How do they view sales?
- How can you connect with them emotionally?
Deep knowledge about sales makes it easier to become confident in your approach, even if it is entirely different from everyone you work with.
Thoroughly Research Potential Clients
Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you felt like they really knew you? How comfortable were you in that conversation? How willing were you to do what the person asked you to do after that conversation? Odds are you were more comfortable and willing.
You should be shooting for those conversations and connections with every client. And one of the best ways to prompt these kinds of conversations is through deep research on the organization and individual rep before interacting with them.
Before you ever dial a phone number or send an email, educate yourself on your potential clients. Find out as much as possible about them, like their interests, values, and lifestyles. Research their roles, the companies they work for, and their most significant challenges as well.
Whatever you can find out about your potential clients, document it and use it for the interactions you plan to have with them.
Prepare for Client Interactions Ahead of Time
There’s no way around interacting with your clients. Meetings and conversations may not come naturally to you, but you can ease the pressure of them with adequate preparation.
Take the information you learned about a potential client and devise a plan for how you want to approach the meeting or conversation you’re going to have with them. For example, create a loose script for a cold call. Jot down the main points you want to cover for an upcoming meeting. Or have a coworker look over an email you’re sending to a potential client.
Whether it is a call, email, text message exchange, event, in-person meeting, or virtual video chat, prepare for the interaction ahead of time to make a real connection and, eventually, close a deal.
Focus on Quality Leads
It’s challenging enough for introverts to muster up the courage to dial a phone number for a cold call. The last thing they need is to get on the phone with a bunch of leads who have no genuine interest in what they offer.
Too many of these unproductive interactions can suck the enthusiasm right out of you. Focusing on high-quality leads is a much better approach. But how do you get them? Well, get creative with your lead-generation strategies.
Even if you aren’t at the point where you’re comfortable with person-to-person contact, you can still draw up leads without having to talk to people face-to-face. For example, you can use lead-generation strategies rooted in digital marketing.
Find leads on social media through ads and organic content. Optimize your blog posts with keywords that attract your ideal clients. Answer questions on Q&A sites and forums. Start an email newsletter. Share original research and case studies. You could also create lead magnets and get contact information for quality leads through your forms.
Think outside the box regarding lead generation, and be sure your strategies are directed toward your ideal clients.
Know Your Strengths and Lean on Them
There’s so much talk about what might hold an introvert back in sales and not nearly enough conversation surrounding what makes them more equipped than ever to succeed. As an introvert, you have hidden strengths that can help you thrive in this line of work. Know what they are and lean on them.
Make a list of your strengths and how they can help you do well in sales. Then, refer back to this list whenever you get down on yourself, make a mistake, or don’t get the results you were hoping for. It’ll help revive your confidence and move you forward in a new, more productive direction.
Prioritize Work-life Balance
It takes a lot out of an introvert when they have to constantly socialize, interact with clients, and collaborate with coworkers. They need time to rest, recharge, and pursue passions outside of work to return to a demanding sales job each day with renewed energy.
That’s where work-life balance comes in. Figure out what you can do to ensure a full life outside your career.
Consider working from home to help you do this. Remote work helps minimize the social interactions of a traditional workplace and reserves your energy for your clients. It also allows you to structure your days more freely to accommodate your needs and responsibilities.
If you get the opportunity to work from home, though, pay special attention to your mental health. Remote work can be lonely at times. And that loneliness can worsen mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. So, stay connected to coworkers, eat properly, exercise, and get enough sleep to fend off mental health challenges.
Also make sure your home office is conducive to helping you work at your best. Decluttering and setting up a home organization system will do much to improve your mental health and productivity.
Challenge Yourself With Networking and Socializing
As much as you may not want to right now, putting yourself out there is essential for a solid career in sales. We aren’t saying you have to present at every event, make a thousand calls a day, or go up to random people all the time. But you do have to make introductions and build relationships.
Challenging yourself with networking and socializing can help you with this. Try to do at least one thing you’ve been fearful about regarding work each month. This could be attending a networking event and introducing yourself to at least one person. Maybe it’s having lunch with a new coworker. Or it could be making your first cold call.
Finding out you can network and socialize successfully just as you are can boost your confidence and make the relationship-building part of sales not so scary.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to be more like an extroverted coworker or manager. They’re getting the results you want, so why not try to be more like them right? Wrong. Trying to be someone you aren’t is a surefire way to slow your results and ruin your confidence.
Instead, learn to be successful as you are. In other words, be yourself. It may take longer to get to the level of success you want. But it’ll be much more satisfying to know that you made it by being yourself when you get there.
Mold your sales career around who you are — not the other way around.
Continuously Learn and Adjust Your Approach
This might be the most crucial section if you want to be successful in sales as an introvert. Sales is ever-evolving. And so are people. So, you must become a lifelong learner and adjust your approach often if you truly want to thrive in sales.
Keep up with trends in the sales industry. Pick up tips and tricks from your coworkers and managers. Be sure you’re using what you learn in real-life situations. And view every interaction with a client as an opportunity to learn something new.
Don’t allow your personal growth and professional development to stall because you refuse to keep learning. Instead, embrace learning as an ongoing project and tweak your approach along the way to ensure you’re always getting better and serving your clients as they evolve.
Don’t ever believe introverts aren’t made for sales positions. They aren’t only made for these positions, but they’re also some of the most successful individuals in the industry to date. You can thrive in sales as the reserved, quiet, internally in-tune person you are. Use the tips above to do it.