There is a common misconception that introverts are shy loners who cannot excel in social situations—let alone thrive as an entrepreneur or salesperson. As an introvert, you may like to stay to yourself, you might become socially exhausted after events, or you have a small circle of friends. You’re also thoughtful, innovative, and your listening skills tend to be more developed than your extroverted counterparts.
So why do people think extroverts are the best salespeople? The first impression of sales is that you must be outspoken, charismatic, and have a ton of friends. Yes, these things can be helpful in the sales process. However, they are not the only attributes that deem a closed sale or a dynamic salesperson. I’m here to tell you that being an introvert is actually a sales superpower.
Here are seven reasons why introverts can make great salespeople:
1. You Are Observant
Only 7% of your communication is the words you say. The other 93% of your communication is body language. Being observant and responsive is one of the most important skills of a high level salesperson.
Introverts tend to be more observant of body language, change in tone of voice, and other non-verbal cues, which are superpowers in sales. When you’re in a meeting with a potential client, this not only can help you understand your client better, but it can be the difference between winning or tanking a deal because you’re able to pivot as needed to serve the client and create a better buying experience.
2. You Have a Plan
While extroverts have a tendency to create a plan after they jump out of a plane, introverts typically create a concrete plan with a solid structure. This can make all of the difference in the sales process.
A plan provides consistency and security to their prospective clients/customers. The best salespeople have a proven system they use every single time to close sales—not to be confused with a sales script.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
3. Listening is Your Middle Name
Selling is just as much listening as it is talking. As a salesperson, you need to understand the pain points, needs, and desires of your client. Introverts tend to excel at listening and can become adaptable to the needs of their customers. You can use this to your advantage in any part of the sales process.
4. You Value Deep Relationships
Introverts are not fond of having a list of acquaintances. Instead, they prefer to have deep relationships with other people.
When you’re working a deal with a potential client, a genuine and deep relationship will take you further than a surface level connection. Sales is all about trust and relationships. As an introvert, you have a leg up because you naturally tend to create these relationships.
5. You Are a Realist
Extroverts have a tendency to lean into emotion during the sales process, without necessarily having the information about the results to back up what they’re saying. However, introverts will lean into the reality of outcomes/products which provides more concrete disclaimers prior to a customer’s purchase.
This approach minimizes refunds and dissatisfied customers, which means not only can introverts sell more, but their percentage of repeat customers can be higher too because of the way they sell to their clients.
6. You are More Reserved
Extroverts tend to have big personalities and are not afraid to present themselves, while introverts are more conservative and quiet. New studies are showing that the outgoing, charming salesperson stereotype is actually starting to turn potential customers off. In fact, some people put their guard up when they approached by this type of salesperson.
This new shift in how people react to salespeople can be an advantage for introverts. Your reserved personality may be exactly what helps you relate to your potential client because they feel like you’re having a conversation instead of trying to push an agenda.
7. You Prefer to Not Talk at All
Back in the day, extroverts were often seen as the most qualified salespeople because of cold-calling. To engage in cold-calling, you need to be energetic and have refined social skills.
Today, most decision-makers are making it harder to get them on a phone call. We rely more on nurturing and communicating through email than ever before. This is where introverts can excel, even when they are not as social or talkative as extroverts.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
8. How to Sell as an Introvert
To be effective, be sure to do your research and be prepared. This will boost your confidence and allow you to spend less time thinking about what to say. Instead, you can simply converse with confidence.
Give yourself time to recharge. Networking events or back-to-back sales calls can be physically draining for introverts. Introverts tire easily from social activities, which can make it difficult to interact. Make space for alone time in your schedule, or try other traditional energizing methods, like coffee.
Lastly, don’t use being an introvert as an excuse to not try. There are many introverts who excel in business and entrepreneurship, like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and JK Rowling. The key is to understand yourself and develop your skills.
As a whole, the value that introverts bring to the sales table is overlooked at best. Being introverted does not disqualify you from being an exceptional salesperson. In fact, you can rival and surpass your extroverted counterparts if you hone your skills and embrace yourself as an introvert.