There’s an assumption that extroverted people are better suited for sales positions than introverts. So, what does the science say about this?
As it turns out, people who are strong introverts do indeed make poor salespeople. These are often people who don’t like to be assertive and can be shy around others.
What about strong extroverts? If introverts aren’t the best hire for a sales position, then we should look to hire someone who’s exceptionally outgoing and gregarious, right?
Not so quick!
It turns out strong extroverts also make poor salespeople. Why? Because they don’t listen!
There’s actually a third category that gets much less attention. They’re called ambiverts. These are people who are a little introverted and a little extroverted. They know when to speak up and they know when to shut up.
Here’s the good news. Most of us are not on the extreme end of intro or extroversion, which means most of us have the ability to develop the skills needed to be more effective at selling, whether that’s direct selling or just being more influential with getting people to change or do something (non-sales selling).
More good news! There’s one strategy that works well for both groups. Ask more questions. If you’re an introvert, don’t try to become the person doing all the talking. That’s exhausting to introverts! Just ask more questions and let the other person talk. Most people love to talk about themselves.
If you’re an extrovert, asking more questions forces you to be quiet and do more listening.
Introversion and extroversion tend to be hard-wired, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some adjustments that bring us a little closer to the middle.
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