Are the best sales representatives extroverted or introverted?

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The hiring of sales representatives involves great risks. The cost of an ineffective sales representative can range, on average, between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000, in addition to less quantifiable damage to the team’s culture and morale.

Common sense suggests that extroverted people, who usually consider themselves open and sociable, would be better sales representatives than introverts, who are popularly considered shameful in social situations.
However, common sense is wrong.

First, it is very rare for a person to be completely extroverted or introverted. According to psychotherapist Marti Olsen Laney, introverts and extroverts are the extremes of a “continuity of energy.” Most people are at an intermediate point and exhibit a combination of introverted and extroverted tendencies, even if they lean to one side or the other.

Second, it is necessary to clarify some misconceptions. Extroverts are not all extremely sociable, and introverts are not necessarily shy. Actually, the difference between extraversion and introversion is not related at all to personality. The distinction is based on the environment from which each one captures their energy: from other people or from loneliness. Introverts get energy when they are alone, while extroverts are revitalized in social situations.

Third, some research has shown that being an extrovert does not automatically make you a good sales representative. In a meta-analysis of 35 studies in which 4,000 sales representatives were surveyed, it was determined that there is almost no correlation (a statistically non-significant 0.07) between extroversion and sales performance. In addition, at the individual level, both extroverts and introverts have characteristics that contribute to their success in sales.

Let’s analyze the relative merits of extroverted and introverted sales representatives.

What makes extroverts good at sales?

Extroverts love to be surrounded by people.
There are no positions related to sales in which a representative can get away with it and never talk to a customer. Calling customers or meeting with them is part of the job, and since they are energized by these interactions, sales representatives who tend to extrovert will find it easier to connect with prospects and customers every day.

They are cheerful and expressive.
Extroverts take energy from the outside world, and also give their energy to others. They are generally more demonstrative, speak louder and gesticulate than introverts.
Your enthusiasm is likely to inspire confidence in prospects and customers. Remember that unconsciously we imitate the behaviors of others and innately trust those who seem to be experts.

Extroverts engage in trivial conversations more naturally.
It is not necessary that you become the best friend of a prospect to close a sale, but being able to relate to your prospects outside the commercial scope is beneficial.”When I talk to a prospect for the first time, I ask him how he is,” says Dan Tire, HubSpot sales director. “I try to establish a human relationship before doing business.”

Extroverts engage in trivial conversations naturally, but they can be “intimidating, boring or exhausting” for introverts, according to journalist Lecia Bushak of Medical Daily. During sales calls, a little trivial conversation will be inevitable, and this experience will be more enjoyable for extroverts.

What makes introverts good at sales?

They are deep thinkers by nature.
According to Olsen Laney’s The Introvert Advantage, research shows that a neuronal signal within an introvert’s brain travels a longer path than in an extrovert’s brain, suggesting that more mental connections are established when questions are asked the introverts.In sales, critical thinking is fundamental. Being able to anticipate objections and answer questions carefully is essential for a consultative sales representative, and the natural ability of introverts to think in depth is an advantage.

Introverts are great listeners.
It is essential that prospects feel heard. A sales representative who does not give a prospect the opportunity to speak or who dismisses the objections will not succeed.Introverted sales representatives do not feel the need to dominate a conversation simply because they like the sound of their own voice. Instead, they will allow a prospect to talk about their problems before offering prudent advice.

“[Introverts] do not have the energy, nor the desire, to be the ones who speak,” Bushak writes. “This, in short, benefits them, since they can take what they observe and learn, and apply it to better solve problems. and be creative. ”

Of course, none of these behaviors are exclusive to extroverts or introverts. Simply, people who are at each end of the continuity of energy will adopt them more easily.

Ambivertidos: The best sellers of all?

A study by Professor Adam Grant of the Wharton School of Business revealed that ambivertidos (people who are approximately half of the extraversion and introversion scale) are the most successful sales representatives.

Grant used a personality assessment by which he classified sales representatives on a scale of 1 (the most introverted) to 7 (the most extroverted). A three-month study indicated that, on average, introverts (1 and 2) and extroverts (6 and 7) generated approximately the same income per hour, on average, $ 127 and $ 115, respectively.

The most ambitious representatives (the 4) obtained $ 208 per hour. The ambivertidos with a classification of 3.75 to 5.5 sold, on average, $ 155 per hour for their companies.

What is the moral for hiring managers and sales leaders? Hiring people who are at one end of the spectrum is not recommended. Instead, look for sales representatives with a combination of extroverted and introverted tendencies that can bring the best of both aspects of their personalities.

 

Source: Hubspot

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