How to Sell as an Introvert

Are you nervous about your first sales job? Or maybe, you know, that you’re an introvert and you hate the thought of having to sell anybody, anything. Whatever the case may be, by the end of this article, you’re going to have seven tips on how to sell more effectively as an introvert. Extroverts you’ll also find this article helpful. Be sure to stick until the end for the last three tips, which I’ve personally found most helpful in my own sales journey.

From humble beginnings, selling out of a fax room to having multiple years where I brought in multiple millions in revenue, I’ve seen my share of what it takes to win deals and train account executives to be effective. All, while being an introvert. Unlike traditional sales coaches that are more extroverted and tend to just pump you up, I focus on the psychology behind your prospect to help them feel understood and confident in buying your product.

TIP 1: Accept that you’re an introvert.

The first tip when it comes to selling more effectively as an introvert is to accept that you are an introvert. I remember when I first started selling that, one of the biggest things I felt was imposter syndrome because I had this preconceived notion that anybody that was effective in sales had to be an extrovert. And so I developed this so-called sales voice, which required me to always be on with the client.

This wasn’t super effective for me though, because it made me realize that I had to always be on for my client, which then drained my energy levels after a few discovery call or closing meetings. Instead of continuing to use the sales voice, what I started to do was I started to adapt to my own style, and that meant being direct, not super bubbly, but very cordial and professional in my communications. I wanted to make sure that it was understood from my prospect, that I was a really good listener. I’d pick up on their potential pain points and really help them understand their pain points. And that in turn helped me gain their trust and in turn, their business.

TIP 2: Leverage your listening skills.

The second tip is to leverage your listening skills personally, as an introvert, I hate being the center of attention. Leave me a comment below if you agree with me there. Luckily for us though, in any sales conversation, the prospect should be the center of attention. Look, I get it. It’s a demo of your product. And you think that your product should be the center of attention, but that can’t be any further from the truth. In order to close more deals, you need to always be listing and positioning your product to meet the needs of your prospect.

One of the problems that I frequently had when coaching at more extroverted salespeople was that they were always talking up their product. They’d start listing off features, and nice benefits to the prospect before they actually understood what the prospect cared about. So instead as an introvert, you can leverage your listening skills to really tune in and listen to what your is telling you about their problems.

Using your listening skills helps in closing conversations as well. Sometimes silence is golden and simply not saying anything and letting your prospect continue to share more about their experiences or their desires can help you close even more business. An asy way to remind yourself to always be listening is to take a sticky note and write the words, listen in, and then put that on your monitor or in the corner of your monitor that you use for your sales calls.

TIP 3: Parrot your prospect.

The third tip when it comes to selling more effectively as an introvert is to parrot your prospect. After you’ve built the habit of listening, I want you to focus on summarizing what your prospect is trying to tell you back to them so that they can feel heard and understood by you.

So why do we do this? Well, the reason why is because it helps us build our rapport and likability with our prospect. In psychology, this concept is known as mirroring. And it’s something that you’ll notice that very close groups of friends or family will do with one another to show that they like each other. We like to see other people that use similar body language and mannerisms or expressions in order to communicate key points.

Another reason why it’s helpful is because it builds on the prior tip, where you are demonstrating to your prospect, that you are very different than every other sales person they’ve met and then you’re actually trying to listen and understand their core needs.

A quick example of how you might pair to prospect would be maybe your prospect told you that having their sales reps hit quota consistently is of utmost importance to them. You might say in response, from what it sounds like having the majority of your sales reps hitting their quota consistently is a top concern for you. Would you agree with that? By parroting back to our prospect, what we just heard, we’re demonstrating that we’re actively listening and that we want to help them solve their problems.

TIP 4: Pace yourself and practice self-care.

The fourth tip when it comes to selling more effectively as an introvert is to make sure that you pace yourself and practice self care.

After my first two years in sales, I was incredibly burnt out. I was so used to working 12 hour days in which I was not only doing customer service, but also customer success and sales conversations. As such, these conversations continue building for me and took a lot out of me. And so that by the end of every single day, I was exhausted, didn’t want to talk to anybody and just wanting to go to bed.

In sales, there is always one more thing to do. And so what you need to do as an introvert is you need to make sure that you are moderating your energy levels and how much you’re expanding into your sales conversations. If that means that you have to limit yourself, for example, to eight meetings every day, then you need to live by that rule. Understand your physical limits so that you don’t have to face burnout, which would lead you to even worse spirals of down performance in meeting your quota.

Two easy tips for practicing better self care in sales is to first use your calendaring app to your advantage. A lot of calendaring apps such as Calendly allow you to actually add in a buffer time between your appointments. This can help you avoid the potential situation, which you have a ton of back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings.

The second tip is to make sure that you are snacking throughout the day. My go-to was always having some almonds at my side or some other nuts, and then also having my water bottle so that I didn’t lose my voice throughout the day. Making sure that you do this allows you to put your best foot forward when it comes to meeting your prospects and having meaningful conversations. Tell me in the comments below what’s your go-to sales snack?

TIP 5: Ask open ended questions to keep your prospects and leads talking.

The fifth tip when it comes to selling more effectively as an introvert is to ask open ended questions to keep your prospect talking. The easiest way to do this is to remember the stem tell me.

For example, tell me about who typically makes these buying decisions for your department or for example, tell me about what were some of the challenges that you face the last time that you engaged an SEO agency. By asking this sort of question, you’re opening the door for your prospect to take the conversation where they’d like to go and provide you with more feeder material to continue on the conversation.

Aside from the, tell me stem, the other great question stems to remember are the five W’s, which are, Who, What, Where, When and Why as well as How. By asking these questions, you will always have a new question that you can ask your prospect to learn more about their needs and help them meet their goals. Why and how questions are always my favorite types of questions to ask, because they really help the prospect think deeply as to why they are coming to you with their potential problem.

TIP 6: Be the facilitator/guide for your prospect and let them take the lead.

The sixth tip when it comes to selling more effectively as an introvert is to be the facilitator. In other words, let your customer leads you to where they need to go next. Be the person that summarizes the meeting effectively for your prospect and ask the general questions of what needs to be done next. This will help and guide your prospect through their buying decision and make them feel like they are in control at all times.

One of the most powerful ways to close more deals these days in the age of the empowered consumer is to make the consumer feel like they are always in control as to whether or not they’re going to be making this purchasing decision.

What this means for you is that after every single meeting, for example, a discovery call or a closing conversation, summarize the key takeaways for your prospect as to what both of you agreed and discussed. From there, always make sure that you have next steps and call to actions for both you and your prospect to hold them accountable. Having these sorts of pieces in place allows your prospect to feel like you are always moving and making progress towards a solution to their potential problem. This can also be done all behind the scenes via email, following a call.

Something that I used to love to do was always telling my bigger clients that they’d have the notes from this meeting, as well as next steps clearly outlined within 15 minutes. What this helped build was more trust with my prospects because they knew they could count on me to provide those helpful notes and keep the ball rolling and solving their problems. Remember sometimes the most effective salespeople don’t actually sell anything. All they do is help their prospects connect the dots. What that means is that if you can help your prospects connect the dots and their buying process, you can actually be a super effective salesperson.

TIP 7: Build your days to work for you.

The seventh tip when it comes to selling more effectively as an introvert is to build your days to work with you, as opposed to against you. Figure out when you are most in flow and schedule your days around those flow times.

If, for example, it’s in the morning, that may mean putting your one or two key meetings for the day in the morning. If it’s for the afternoon, then it may mean that you want to layer your meeting after your lunch breaks, that you have some good energy levels heading into those key meetings. If you work in a traditional office space, consider when your office is quietest. This will allow you to minimize for potential distractions, as well as take more calls from your desk, as opposed to having to book out a conference room.

Big takeaways

There are two big takeaways that I want you to remember when it comes to selling as an introvert.

  1. The first tip that I want you to remember is that selling as an introvert is only a disadvantage, if you let it be. Don’t psych yourself out, just because you’re an introvert in sales. In many cases, introverts in sales actually sell more effectively because they’re able to listen to what their clients need and deliver on those needs. This can mean more upsells for you, more cross sales for you than your extroverted peers.
  2. The second tip is to always remember that when it comes to sales conversations, if you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of energy you’re having to expend, just ask your prospect an open ended question, remembering that tell me stem can be an easy way for you to punt the conversation back to your prospect, to allow them to share even more about their potential pain or problems or urgency around their problems.

Remembering these two things can be crucial for your success.

In my next article, I’ll go over the nine most powerful sales questions that you can ask to sell even more with your prospect and close, bigger deals.

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