Are introverts good at sales

Sales Tips For Introverts | 9 Keys to Outsell the Extroverts

If you’re not a naturally “outgoing” person, it can be easy to feel like a fish out of water in sales. But guess what? Being an introvert can actually be a huge advantage to selling…

So what if people don’t typically describe you as having the gift of gab? Maybe you really don’t relish social situations at all.

Don’t worry—many top performers in sales are introverts at heart.


Know that extroverts have a massive weakness.

As an introvert, you have a huge advantage over extroverts. Mainly, your advantage is that extroverts naturally want to talk, talk, and talk some more. This is a massive weakness in sales because they’re focused on what they’re going to say next, instead of focused on what the prospect is saying.

This means that extroverts are inwardly focused as opposed to outwardly focused.

As a result, extroverts might be really strong when they’re at a networking event, and they’re super comfortable working a room. But you must recognize that they actually have a huge disadvantage when it comes to one-on-one selling—and you, as an introvert, have a huge advantage.

One of the best sales tips for introverts is simply to recognize your own inherent selling strengths as someone who doesn’t just want to talk about yourself, but rather focuses on those around you.

2. Engage your prospects early.

Because you’re naturally introverted, it’s easier for you to engage prospects in conversations. This might sound counter-intuitive, but while extroverts are more naturally talkative, introverts are far better at actually getting other people to talk and open up.

Use your natural inclinations to get prospects talking early on—so that they’re doing most of the talking, and you’re doing most of the listening. Leverage your natural ability to really listen and get them going.

3. Use your introvert intuition to ask questions.

When you were a little kid, if you were stuck in a room with someone, you probably naturally asked that person questions rather than have to awkwardly try to come up with a mouthful to say on your own. Use this intuition to ask prospects questions, keying off what your prospects say to pose thoughtful, relevant questions throughout the sales conversation.

Asking questions really keeps your prospects focused on themselves, which is all they really care about anyway.

4. Really listen to what they say.

Introverts are naturally better listeners than extroverts, because they’ve been listening to others for their entire lives. You were never the motor-mouth in high school or the person at a party who had a million things to say to everyone—instead, you were listening.

You’ve built up the skill of active listening over the years. Now it’s time to use it.

Listen closely to what your prospect says, clarify when things don’t make sense, and make sure you understand exactly what they mean.

5. Dig even deeper…

Building off of the last tip, it’s important that introverts dig deep to truly get to the bottom of what their prospects mean.

Let’s say your prospect uses some type of vague term, such as “operations,” i.e.: “Things have been crazy these days with operations.” The typical extrovert would say, “Oh, yeah, I totally know what you mean, things are crazy over here with operations, too…” and launch into a full-on detour.

But as an introvert, you can easily tap into your instinct to dig deeper by clarifying with questions. Say, “Can you tell me what you mean by that? What do you see going on right now with operations exactly?” and get the prospect to open up and go deeper.

6. Summarize what you’ve heard.

Once you’re active listening to your prospects and prompting them to go deeper by asking questions, you can harness your natural abilities as an introvert to summarize what they’ve said and demonstrate your understanding of their challenges.

Let’s say you’re 20 minutes into the conversation, you’ve asked a bunch of questions, and now you can now summarize what you’ve heard by saying, “All right, George. So if I’m hearing you correctly, this is what I’ve heard you tell me so far…” Share your summary of the conversation thus far and then say, “Is this correct?” The prospect will either light up and say, “Yes, that’s exactly right,” or they’ll clarify that you’ve missed a crucial point. Either way, you’re going to go even deeper.

7. Present only to their challenges.

This is so important—and it’s such a natural skill for introverts.

When you present, be sure to present only to the prospect’s challenges. Whatever you present should be based on real solutions to the challenges your prospect has already mentioned. This means that you’re not going on tangents, you’re not showing everything that you do—you’re tapping into your inner introvert and focusing on the prospect, only presenting to their challenges, and leaving yourself out of it.

8. Keep your presentation short.

As a natural introvert, your tendency is not to talk for an hour straight. That’s a huge advantage over extroverts because, when it’s presentation time, they get so excited to talk about themselves that the prospect ends up tuning out and getting bored.

Keep your presentation really short; be ruthless. Don’t go in with a scalpel, go in with a machete, and cut out any wasted language in your presentation. Keep it as short as possible. If you do a good job of this, your prospect will actually start asking you questions to help lead the conversation around what they care most about.

9. Leverage the skills you’ve honed over a lifetime.

I cannot emphasize enough the degree to which introverts have a massive advantage over extroverts. You have developed the natural skills to listen, to engage, and to really focus on the individual in front of you at any given time. This is absolutely key to selling. The old-school idea of the super-extroverted salesperson who has the gift of gab isn’t actually what prospects want. They want the opposite. And that’s you.

In fact, those super-extroverted types typically make some of the worst salespeople.

Leverage everything you’ve learned over a lifetime to really listen to your prospects and use that to your advantage to beat extroverts at their own game every single time.

So there you have it. Now you know 9 sales tips for introverts to outsell those extroverts. I want to hear from you. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comment section to get involved in the conversation.

How to Be in Sales as an Introvert

Hiring salespeople is a high-stakes game. The cost to replace a bad sales hire can average from $25,000 to $37,500, not to mention the less quantifiable damage to team morale and culture.

Conventional wisdom suggests that extroverts — commonly thought of as outgoing and sociable — would make better salespeople than introverts, who have been popularly represented as awkward in social situations.

The conventional wisdom is wrong.

First, it’s very rare that people are 100% extroverted or introverted. According to psychotherapist Marti Olsen Laney, introverts and extroverts are the extreme ends of the “energy continuum.” Most people fall somewhere in the middle, and display a mix of introverted and extroverted tendencies even if they tend toward one side or the other.

Second, let’s clear up some misconceptions. Extroverts aren’t all social butterflies, and introverts aren’t necessarily shy. In fact, the extraversion-introversion divide isn’t about personality at all. The distinction is defined by where people get their energy from — other people, or solitude. Introverts gain energy by being alone, while extroverts are invigorated by social situations.

Third, research has shown that being extroverted doesn’t automatically translate into being a good salesperson. A meta-analysis of 35 studies that surveyed 4,000 salespeople found almost zero correlation (a statistically insignificant 0.07) between extraversion and sales performance. And on an individual level, both extroverts and introverts possess characteristics that contribute to their success in sales.

Let's explore the relative merits of both extroverted and introverted salespeople.

What makes extroverts good at sales?

Extroverts love being around other people.

There are zero sales positions where a rep can get away with never having to speak to a customer. Calling or meeting customers is part of the job, and because they’re energized by such interactions, sales reps who tend toward extroversion will find it easier to connect with prospects and customers every day.

They are animated and expressive.

Extroverts draw their energy from the external world, and also expend their energy on others. They are generally more demonstrative, speak more loudly, and gesture more than introverts.

Their enthusiasm is likely to inspire confidence in prospects and clients. Consider that we unconsciously mirror people’s behaviors and innately trust people who appear to be experts.

Small talk comes more naturally to extroverts.

You don’t have to become a prospect’s best friend to sell to them, but being able to relate to your prospects outside of their business is beneficial.

“When I speak to a prospect for the first time, I ask them how they’re doing,” says Dan Tyre, a sales director at HubSpot. “I try to establish human rapport before conducting business.”

Small talk comes naturally to extroverts, but can be “intimidating, boring, or exhausting” for introverts, according to Medical Daily reporter Lecia Bushak. Some level of small talk will always be inevitable during sales calls, and the experience will be more pleasant for extroverts.

Can introverts be salespeople?

The short answer is, yes you can be a successful salesperson as an introvert. Being effective in sales comes down to learned skills, not personality type.

Here’s what HubSpot's Flora Wang, Associate Product Manager, says about her experience working in sales as an introvert.

“When I joined sales I thought being an introvert would hold me back because I wasn't the outgoing extrovert that I perceived all salespeople to be. I realized that in order to sell to everyone, I had to adapt my style to different audiences. Some of the prospects I sold to were also introverts and appreciated my straightforward and thoughtful approach.

In addition, as an introvert, I am an active listener which benefitted me in sales. Prospects commented on how I well remembered certain details of their software setup or their business structure and I was able to provide a more personalized experience.”

Let's discuss why introverts make good salespeople.

What makes introverts good at sales?

They’re naturally deep thinkers.

According to Olsen Laney’s book The Introvert Advantage, research shows that a neural signal within an introvert’s brain follows a longer path than in an extrovert’s, suggesting that more mental connections are made when introverts are asked questions.

In sales, critical thinking is crucial. Being able to anticipate objections and thoughtfully answer questions is essential for a consultative salesperson, and introverts’ natural ability to think deeply is an advantage.

Introverts make great listeners.

It’s essential that prospects feel heard. A salesperson who won’t let a prospect get a word in edgewise or steamrolls past objections won’t be successful.

Introverted salespeople don't feel the need to dominate a conversation simply because they like the sound of their own voice. Instead, they’ll sit back and let a prospect talk through their problems before offering measured advice.

According to HubSpot's own David Weinhaus, strong listening skills are a must-have for successful sales reps.

"As an introvert, one of the things I pride myself on is being able to listen well. Selling before fully understanding a prospect's need for change is tempting but ultimately results in pitching, not helping. I've found that Introverts, who often have a drive to listen and understand, are successful at avoiding this trap," he says.

If you identify as an introvert, here are some tips to help you hone in on your strengths to succeed in sales.

Tips for Introverted Salespeople

  1. Leverage your soft skills.
  2. Focus on one-on-one conversations.
  3. Don’t rely on cold-calling.
  4. Allow plenty of time for research.
  5. Use your CRM.
  6. Practice, practice, practice.
  7. Give yourself time to recharge.

1. Leverage your soft skills.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, soft skills are described as your ability to communicate and genuinely connect with those you speak to. Your ability to sell depends on how effective you are at connecting with others. Though introverts often recharge and get their energy through alone time, their ability to actively listen and give others their undivided attention is beneficial for building the trust needed to close the sale.

2. Focus on one-on-one conversations.

While those who identify as introverts may not feel comfortable or energized working the room at a networking event or giving presentations in front of large groups of people, they are often more comfortable in intimate situations where they can have deeper one-on-one conversations.

From a sales standpoint, this can be a major strength. When selling consumer products, or complex goods that have a long sales cycle dependent on relationship selling. If you identify as an introvert, aim to take on roles that allow you to have sales conversations with individuals, rather than groups.

3. Don’t rely on cold-calling.

When a sales rep conducts outreach by picking up the phone and calling a prospect they don’t have a previous relationship with, it’s considered a cold call. For decades, cold-calling was believed to be the most effective way to begin the sales process.

Today, with social media, and CRM data, among other resources available to reps, cold-calling is no longer the effective lead generation activity it once was.

Introverts, rejoice.

If the idea of calling up a prospect you have never talked to before and asking them to buy your product makes you shudder, do not worry — there are other effective ways to engage with a prospect that may help you feel more comfortable and successfully land the sale.

As an introvert, when you are prospecting you may find greater success conducting personalized social media outreach, or creating an informative prospecting email sequence to engage with inbound leads.

4. Allow plenty of time for research.

If you identify as an introvert, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to conduct proper research before reaching out to prospects. Build confidence before hopping on a call or giving a presentation by showing up fully prepared with as much information about your prospect and what they’re looking for as you can.

Start by seeing what information about your prospect is available to you in your CRM. Here are a few pieces of information you may want to look for:

  • What articles they’ve read on your website.
  • What emails or newsletters from your company they’ve opened.
  • Past purchase information.
  • What territory the prospect falls in.
  • Whether the person you’re meeting with is a gatekeeper, influencer, or decision maker.

Equipping yourself with as much information as possible can help put you at ease with the interactions ahead.

5. Use your CRM.

When used effectively, your CRM software can help automate some of your interactions, alleviating some of the pressure introverts may feel to remain in constant communication with their prospects.

Using automation, you can schedule email follow-ups, proposals, and schedule meetings, all behind the comfort of your screen.

6. Practice, practice, practice.

Though introverts may not feel naturally inclined to reach out to or engage with customers, these tasks become easier to do with practice.

Enlist a colleague or friend to practice having sales conversations with, or practice presenting to before going in and speaking with prospects to help you feel more comfortable.

7. Give yourself time to recharge.

Last but certainly not least, introverts who work in sales should be intentional about giving themselves time to recharge.

For those who identify as introverts, having downtime can be essential for remaining focused, energized, and at the top of their game.

Balance your schedule by performing more administrative tasks and downtime to give yourself a break from interacting with others as needed.

None of these behaviors, of course, are exclusive to extroverts or introverts. Rather, they’re simply easier for people who fall on either side of the energy continuum to adopt.

Ambiverts: The best salespeople of all?

A study by Wharton School of Business professor Adam Grant found that ambiverts — individuals who fall roughly in the middle of the extraversion and introversion scale — are the most successful salespeople.

Grant used a personality assessment ranking salespeople on a scale of one (most introverted) to seven (most extroverted). A three-month study found that on average, introverts (ones and twos) and extroverts (sixes and sevens) brought in around the same average hourly revenue — $127 and $115, respectively.

The most ambiverted reps (fours) pulled in $208 an hour. Ambiverts that ranked between a 3.75and 5.5sold an average $155 per hour for their companies.

The takeaway? One's personality type doesn't necessarily dictate success in sales. Those with both introverted and extroverted tendencies can be successful. 

Topics: Personality Types

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Why there are not enough introverts in marketing - Marketing on

Susan Cain book " Introverts. How to use the characteristics of your character ”had a strong influence on me, since I myself am an introvert. Her main point is that Western culture overestimates extroverts and does not seek to engage introverts who prefer internal focus instead of external irritation.

At the same time, they listen much more than they speak, and think a lot before they say something. They focus on the relationships and meaning of the events around them, rather than the events themselves, as extroverts do.

My guess is that the best marketers of tomorrow are likely to be much more introverted than today's. More to the point, the marketing industry needs more introverts because they are good listeners, take a long time to think about the meaning of what they hear, and build strong relationships with a limited circle of people.

What will help increase the role of introverts

Since the client always has the last word, listening becomes a very valuable asset. In addition, the pricing system has become much more transparent, and the choice of products, brands and retailers is now richer than ever before.

Thanks to social media, it has become easier for consumers to complain about poor-quality products and write reviews of brands: according to a sociological study by the marketing company Nielsen, half of Americans do this (as for Russian users, according to the latest PayPal report, 77% of them look at product reviews while in the store at that moment - ed. ).

How to respond to reviews? — this question becomes the most relevant for market leaders. Back in 2010, the authors of HBR studied the behavior of extra- and introverted leaders, studying their reaction to the initiatives of subordinates, which they proposed, taking into account the forecast of the development of a particular situation.

In two test situations, introverts acted much more decisively, which helped increase profits by 14% and productivity by 28%. Since the future is determined by the unpredictable tastes of buyers, introvert marketers may find themselves in great demand.

The focus of advertising campaigns will shift from a brand's monologue to its dialogue with the consumer or even the recommendation of the client himself: consumers with a high degree of involvement demonstrate their creativity and loyalty to a particular brand.

Since introverts (unlike extroverts) are much more attentive listeners, they will try to reduce brand control and draw inspiration from listening to their customers. Extroverts, on the other hand, “very easily (and, most importantly, involuntarily) get into a rage and try to infect others with their idea, suppressing the ideas of colleagues and interlocutors,” says Susan Cain.

Finally, super consumers (the 10% of highly engaged customers who can account for up to 50% of revenue) will become even more powerful in determining which brands win and which lose.

It takes longer to build key customer engagement, but introverts are naturally good at it. Engaging in limited but much deeper discussions helps them generate an emotional response that can influence sales.

Whether I'm right or wrong, time will tell. But as I thought about Cain's book, I realized that all the top marketers I've worked with have been introverts.

The VP of one of our clients listened to proactive consumers, retailers, and his employees and launched his own product in two limited markets. With minimal advertising spend, he has earned over $100 million.

This marketer gradually left the corporate world, tired of the pomp, posturing, and methods that often had to be resorted to. Perhaps this was a consequence of the prevalence of extroverts in corporate America. Be that as it may, he is now the happy owner of a thriving business - he managed to find a job to his liking.

I also know one team of very talented and successful marketers who left their previous job and realized themselves even more successfully in retail. They call their new place nothing less than a paradise for introverts.

They now spend a lot more time launching new brands and products instead of carving out more resources for the department.

They seek constant feedback from customers and customers and are interested in their opinion on new products, instead of talking about the benefits of products. One measure of their success was the rapid launch of a new $300 million brand.

Advice for introverts

Sites ExactTarget and Adhere Creative have published tips that will help introvert marketers in their work.

Share deep thoughts

Most introverts think first and then talk. So when other employees come up with wild ideas during meetings and brainstorming sessions, you are probably sitting lower than water and quieter than grass. However, as soon as you think about everything properly, you enter into a discussion.

Make sure that your thoughtfulness is not interpreted as a lack of interest. Let people know that you are happy to share your thoughts, but only a little later. And then - think about your health. You can also volunteer to use the flipchart and outline the meeting abstracts, gathering your thoughts along the way.

Call for a break

Solitude is one of the basic needs of any introvert. Such a pit stop is not a waste of time, but an exceptional need to restore mental and physical strength. So try to get away from the turmoil for at least a little while to clear your head. Even a short walk around the office in the fresh air will benefit.

Get ready to talk about nothing

Introverts hate to talk about trifles. However, we live in a world where empty talk is part of everyday life. So do yourself a favor and prepare a couple of topics for light conversation.

A few apt remarks about the weather or the success of the local football team will help you avoid awkward silence. If you know in advance about the upcoming meeting with a new person, do not be too lazy to look for something about him.

A couple of minutes on Google or LinkedIn will give you enough information about him: where he comes from, what university he graduated from, what he does, and so on. And this, in turn, will provide the basis for a pleasant conversation. But just do not get carried away with the search, otherwise it will look extremely suspicious.

Networking for the introvert

What could be worse than empty talk? That's right, empty talk with selfish intentions (extroverts prefer to replace this concept with a euphemism called "networking"). No wonder this causes introverts discomfort: self-sufficient by nature, they feel like windbags.

However, there are ways to minimize stress. Instead of making connections during noisy events, try to be with the right person in a quieter place. And hold back the energy: instead of trying to meet as many people as possible, find information about those with whom you have something in common.

Do what you are good at: think

Introverts carefully study all possible options, and this is what is required to create good marketing strategies. They pay attention to details and try to create strong relationships with people. Turn these features to your advantage.

Instead of feeling pressured by an "extroverted" environment, just relax and be yourself. Carefully study the client's materials or learn more about the specifics of his business, about his customers - what they need and what they are ready to offer. The feeling of confidence will come, if only because you have spent a lot of time preparing.

Before you come up with a marketing strategy or try to close a deal, take a break and take a good look at your options. When it's time to share your thoughts with a paper or a client, you'll sound more interesting. These qualities are sometimes very lacking in extroverts.

Remember, introversion is your secret marketing weapon.

If you can't tell, write

If you're shy about meeting new people, don't be afraid—there are other ways to woo your audience. One of them is blogging. Speak to readers like colleagues, show them the value of your expert opinion and professional outlook. Here you will have time to think about how to present information and formulate thoughts, which will save you from unnecessary stress.

By sharing useful content based on your interests, you will gain the trust of users and become an authority in your field without leaving your comfort zone.

8 tips on how to make it easier for an introvert to find a job — Work.


Finding a job is a test for introvert job seekers. After all, you need to get out of your comfort zone, make contacts, attend interviews. Read on to find out how such candidates can use their personality traits and find a place in the labor market.

If a person is an introvert by psychotype, then he is characterized by concentration on his inner world. This is not a person who is shy or socially inept. It's just that he spends energy while in society, and accumulates it in solitude.

Introverts have a hard time when looking for a job. The main problem is that it is difficult for them to establish superficial contacts and quickly process incoming information. They don’t send out resumes to many job openings, they rarely write cover letters, and interviews can be a real challenge for them.

At the same time, people with this type of personality are excellent workers who have every chance to build a successful career, if not fast-paced. They are laconic, thoroughly approach the fulfillment of the assigned tasks, work slowly, but with high quality. Such specialists delve into the essence of the problem and are in no hurry to make rash decisions. They show the ability to be creative, they have a well-developed memory and analytical abilities. has collected tips to help introvert job seekers make their job search more comfortable.

1. Choose the right path and vacancies

It is important for an introvert (preferably still in his youth) to choose a field of activity in which communication with people is minimized. He will feel in his place in a position, for example, an analyst, accountant, auditor, designer, programmer, veterinarian, research scientist.

And the professions of a sales representative, public relations manager, salesperson and other positions related to communication will devastate both physically and mentally.

The right decision is to find a job that will give the introvert the opportunity to use their strengths and send out resumes to relevant vacancies. Don't forget the importance of cover letters.

2. Agree and train

When an introvert is invited for an interview, it is likely that his first thought will be: "Maybe not to go ...". He has the right to think so, but he is obliged to accept the invitation, and then proceed to training.

How? Go to as many interviews as possible. This will provide an opportunity to find out exactly what hiring managers are asking, what questions confuse the applicant. You can ask someone from your family or friends to be an imaginary HR manager. Let him conduct a fictitious interview, ask questions in random order, and the introverted applicant practice answering them smoothly.

3. Write it down

Introverts are not endowed with the talent of self-presentation, it is difficult for them to talk about themselves and their achievements at the interview, they do not know how to sell themselves in the labor market. But that doesn't mean they don't have anything to share. “Why repeat? they think. “After all, all my successes are reflected in the resume. ” Moreover, during a conversation, introverts get lost if they feel that they are incompetent in a particular issue. And they are stingy with descriptions - personal assessments, clarifications, the need to show emotions create great difficulties for introverts.

Sound familiar? There is a good method of how to systematize and remember information, and at the right time to get it out of the storerooms of memory. Prepare carefully. Get a special notebook in which you write down in detail all the professional data about yourself. Give extended answers to recruiting questions, describe your achievements, strengths and weaknesses, hobbies. When you write, you remember information better. And you will always have a cheat sheet at hand, which you can look into if you forgot something.

4. Use the internet and social media

Social media can influence your career. The fact is known. An introvert needs to make the most of blogs, forums, and other remote ways to contact potential employers. The format of communication on the World Wide Web makes it possible to think and choose the right words. At the same time, the interlocutor remains on the other side of the monitor, which eliminates the tension that occurs during personal communication.

Post your resume on job search sites. Send him to selected vacancies, find out from the recruiter about his fate by e-mail, look for a section with vacancies on company websites and fill out questionnaires right there.

5. Offer to interview remotely

If you are an introvert, then the ideal interview option for you is by phone or Skype. When you are invited to interview with an employer, find out if it is possible to conduct an interview remotely.

By the way, introverts are not prone to improvisation, so a call from a recruiting manager can take them by surprise, lead to confusion. If this also happens to you, then do not hesitate to tell the interlocutor that you will call him back in a couple of minutes. During this time, gather your thoughts and find a summary with prepared theses.

6. Stay connected throughout the meeting

Of course, an introvert cannot completely eliminate personal contacts. He will need to go to the company's office to talk with a recruiter or employer. And already in the first seconds of the meeting, it is important to try to make a good impression. That is, be friendly, smile, shake hands with the interlocutor.

However, it is not so difficult to focus on these points, but it is more difficult for an introvert to remain interested throughout the conversation. He will get tired before the interview is over.

Therefore, control yourself all the time, be here and now from the moment you crossed the threshold of the office until the farewell handshake.

How an introvert should behave in an interview in order to retain attention: