Who is controlling your life?
One of the traits of introverts is their desire to be in charge of their own decisions. It is the driving force behind their proclivity to separate themselves from the group and define their unique life path.
This desire, perhaps need, to be independent is different from most. Sources say that introverts make up 30 to 50% of the population. Even though there don’t seem to be studies that track it, I feel that it’s self-evident that the percentage of introverts who enter the sales profession is remarkably low.
I’ve written many articles about why this may be true and why introverts may make better salespeople than extroverts. I believe introverts are more deliberate with their actions and better able to reflect on each situation, therefore better tracking, making measured adjustments, and modifying their process.
The process itself is the magic elixir that empowers the introvert to succeed.
The introvert’s need for independence and to be apart from the pack often discourages the introvert from entering the sales profession because the salesperson stereotype is that of an outgoing, gregarious, exceedingly charming, boisterous person who appears to make sales calls and close deals by employing those very traits that introvert lack. The extroverted salesperson seems comfortable handing out their business card in the line at the grocery store while the introvert is at the self-checkout avoiding eye contact. The extrovert starts conversations with strangers at coffee shops while the introvert is in the corner, reading a book and people-watching.
In my experience, these traits demonstrate that introverts have a better understanding of people and their behavior. They avoid people because introverts know that person will drain them emotionally. Their unusually enhanced ability to empathically sense how the vibrations of the other person will exhaust them and cause them to be ineffective for some time afterward is the reason they struggle to gain traction in sales.
These introvert truths create situations that cause introverts to struggle in required sales activities:
Introverts avoid networking
Introverts avoid cold calling
Introverts avoid following up with prospects they have deemed uncooperative.
The introvert sees the typical extrovert complete these tasks with apparent ease and emotional detachment. The reason they exhibit this resistance isn’t because they are incapable of performing the tasks; it’s actually because they are trying harder than one might expect. The introvert is, in fact, incredibly attached emotionally and therefore drained when connecting emotions to the activities.
Introverts are actually trying harder than you might expect.
Introverts avoid networking because they dislike small talk. They want to have meaningful conversations.
Introverts avoid cold calling because they don’t believe their call brings value to the prospect.
Introverts avoid following up on uncooperative prospects because they don’t believe the prospect recognizes their genuine desire to help.
The Introvert’s SuperPower
These desires to avoid small talk, bring value, and the desire to help give the introvert the strengths to be a very effective salesperson.
Because of this imminent emotional drain on their resources, introverts desire, more than most, to be in control of their activities and resist, with good reason, being forced to participate in what they consider an extroverted world.
It’s at this pivot point that introverts fail to recognize where they are giving up the very control that they value and are putting themselves at the mercy of the very extroverts that they avoid.
Introverts know they need to network, cold call, and follow up to fill their pipeline, but avoid it because they know they know that when they attempt to employ the methods used by their extroverted counterparts they will fail.
The introvert knows that they need to prospect but don’t. Or, they do it so poorly that their expected failure materializes and reinforces their reluctance.
While the introvert has all those beautiful powers of observation I talked about earlier, they tend not to recognize them as skills when it comes time to employ them.
“I don’t want to bother them.”
This very avoidance phrase is actually the unrecognized superpower that the introvert possesses.
It’s unpreparedness that the introvert avoids.
If the introvert knows he will bring value to the prospect, he will make the call.
If the introvert knows that he can help the prospect, he will be more willing to network.
If the introvert knows that his follow-up will bring the prospect new information that will help him, he will excitedly (as excited as an introvert can be) make the follow-up call.
I encourage the introverts I train always to have a reason to make the call. To perform the research they need to bring value. To understand how they can help before they engage.
This is done by developing the process and genuinely understanding how what they bring will improve the prospect’s situation.
The “man” is keeping you down.
By not taking the initiative to do this research and perform prospecting tasks that benefit them, the introvert empowers the forces they spend their time avoiding.
If the introvert does not create a prospecting plan that he believes in, he allows the extroverts of the world to create it for him.
If the introvert does not provide his own networking plan and force himself to use it, he is allowing the extroverts he avoids to force him to follow theirs.
If the introvert does not write his own cold calling script, he allows the extroverts of the word to write one for him.
If the introvert does not develop his own follow-up workflow, he allows the extroverts of the world to develop one for him.
My efforts here are to show the introvert that while introverts demand to maintain control over their mind, they tend to give up that very control by not developing sales strategies themselves and are therefore giving the very people they tend to avoid the powers they protect for themselves.
It’s an interesting dichotomy that I believe most introverts fail to recognize.
Introverts don’t realize they are relinquishing the resources they spend their lives working relentlessly to protect.
Write your own scripts.
Create your own networking plans.
Develop your own follow-up workflows.
If you’re not in control, you are at their mercy.
If you’re like me, you want to be in control. But that doesn’t mean doing it yourself. Let me know if you need help writing your scripts, creating your networking plans, or developing your workflows.
I’ve been there. I speak your language. I get it.