People have argued for ages over what personality type the ideal salesperson should have, but it turns out that there really isn’t one. Both introverts and extroverts have the potential to be awesome salespeople. Both sides of the personality coin offer traits that can be incredibly valuable in the world of sales.
The key is in knowing your personality type. That way, you can better understand the areas in which you excel and the areas in which you might need to improve. Here’s a deeper look at these personalities.
Extroverts tend to focus on the world around them. Extroverts usually love outside stimulation, being around lots of people, socializing and talking. They love having a large social circle, both professionally and personally. They are a more likely personality type to go into sales because it’s seen as a field in which you need these skills for cold calling, seeking out new business and interacting with people all day.
Introverts are usually focused on their interior thoughts. They tend to prefer being alone instead of with people, usually have a small circle of a few close friends and are happy to have someone else take over a conversation and do most of the talking. They’re usually great listeners because of this. While they might not seem like likely candidates, their reserved, reflective natures actually have a lot of value in sales.
Introverts vs. Extroverts: Important Sales Skills
Here’s how introverts and extroverts fare on the most important skills needed in the sales world:
Making Introductions and Connections
For salespeople and SDRs, making introductions is the critical first step. You can’t effectively sell your product unless you make that initial connection and all-too-critical first impression. Extroverts are much better at going out on a limb and introducing themselves to a new person or prospect. It just comes much more naturally. However, that doesn’t mean that introverts can’t be great at it too – it just takes more effort and practice. In fact, some people prefer being approached by an introvert because it can be less intimidating.
Doing your homework is key to making the first move, no matter how extroverted you are. Leaning on a predictive solution that delivers constantly updated sales intel right at your fingertips can help you get understand you need to know about a company before those critical introductions. AI sales platforms can also help you narrow down accounts that are already in your target market, or even actively searching for your product. When you are calling into the right accounts, those first interactions tend to go a whole lot smoother – which could be great for introverts who tend to crave warm sales leads a bit more.
Once the initial intro has been made, it’s time to start conversations to get the sales cycle moving. Extroverts generally have no problem with this step. They can launch into a conversation without thinking twice and are also great at being persistent because they aren’t as sensitive to rejection. This is often what makes us think of extroverts as natural-born salespeople.
However, the honest truth is that selling is a delicate art that also requires nuance. While introverts might not be as good at diving in and making conversation, they also don’t run the risk of coming off as pushy – which is an unfortunate sales stereotype for some people. It’s important to find the balance of taking a bold step into initiating conversation without being intrusive.
Nailing your talk tracks is key regardless of your personality type – which is why so many high-growth companies are leaning on high-quality sales intel in AI sales platforms like EverString. When you have everything you need to know about a prospect at your fingertips in real time, it gives you the confidence and intel you need during those crucial introductions.
Research isn’t the most exciting part of the sales game, but it’s still perhaps the most important no matter your personality type. Here’s why:
- For starters, you need to read and analyze sales intel to develop an ideal customer profile (ICP), which is the blueprint for the types of companies you should be reaching out to.
- In-depth sales research also helps you identify your total addressable market (TAM) so that you can get a more detailed glimpse of markets or companies that aren’t on your radar, but should be.
- You have to be armed with the nuanced, rich insights about each company you are reaching out to before every call or meeting – and you can’t do it without the best sales intelligence on your side.
Research is typically a task more suited to introverts, who likely prefer spending time alone hunting down information as opposed to being out in the world making contacts.
Listening is another valuable part of sales that introverts tend to be better at. They are typically quiet and patient while speaking with prospects and are open to new ideas and perspectives. Extroverts, on the other hand, prefer to take the lead in a conversation. While this can often be beneficial in the sales world, it also means extroverts could have trouble taking a backseat and listening to what prospects have to say.
This is one area, albeit a very important one, where extroverts tend to be champions. Most of the time, customers will need buy-in for your product or service. It takes some cajoling. Extroverts tend to be the charmers who can talk up anything and woo customers into buying, seemingly without any effort at all. Introverts have to work harder at this, but the upside is that there are a lot of customers out there who respond much better to gentle persuasion than the more brazen style of the extrovert.
Introverts might be better listeners, but extroverts are typically the ones that can connect to prospects on an emotional level. They’re usually great storytellers and can elicit emotional responses from customers – this can be a pivotal point in the sales journey. Introverts can improve in this area by:
- Mastering their body language
- Holding themselves in a confident manner
- Being 100% assured with their talk tracks during calls with high-quality sales data
- Using their great listening skills to create stories that invoke empathy, and a need for their product
- Practicing strong eye contact during meetings
The Truth About Extroverts and Introverts in Sales
It’s very rare for someone to be 100% introverted or 100% extroverted. Most of us are a blend of the two, falling somewhere in between along the continuum – a 50/50 split of these personality types are also known as ambiverts. It’s also important to remember that even people who strongly identify as one or the other don’t necessarily follow the stereotypes many people have about both. Extroverts aren’t always super-social, and introverts aren’t always shy. Introverts tend to recharge by being alone, and extroverts love getting energy from social situations – that’s the main difference.
Studies have also shown that there is almost zero correlation between extraversion and sales performance – both extroverts and introverts have personality traits that can help them excel at sales and develop a successful career.
EverString’s AI sales platform takes the legwork out of prospecting and sales research so that you can focus on recharging your skills no matter your personality type. To see EverString in action, sign up for a free 7-day trial.