Introverts Can Sell

First published on LinkedIn
By Debbie Mrazek

Why Introverts Can Be Really Good At Sales

It has often been a point of discussion in the business world if introverts are effective in sales. While many may tell you that there are other positions they may be better suited for, there are some who believe introverts can be effective in sales. In fact, some of the most successful sales people are actually introverts in their day to day life.
Introverts are better listeners

My personal belief is that sales can be an excellent career for an introvert. After all, who is better at listening to others than an introvert? Many sales people often overlook or do not hear the needs and wants of their clients. This can lead to the client choosing to go with another company, causing you to lose business. However, an introvert is experienced at listening to and hearing what the client is truly in need of. They have the ability to maintain focus during the conversation and this skill not only makes for successful sales people, it also leads to satisfied and happy clients.
Introverts will make the customer the primary focus

No matter what type of product or service you sell, it is important that you always make your clients your primary focus. However, in the business world, many sales people tend to make the conversation or meeting all about them and forget that they are there to help the client. These types of sales people tend to neglect the needs of their clients when they create a sales presentation. When an introvert is involved, they will do everything they possibly can to ensure that the client is the focus of the presentation and they serve more a background role. They tend to place the focus where it should be, on the client and not on themselves.

If you create a sales pitch based on the understanding that the problem, issue, or need of the client is important, you will be in a better position to create a solution based on those needs. Clients enjoy dealing with someone who truly listens to what they have to say and understands their needs. This will ensure that your client remains happy and loyal for a long time to come. The more comfortable your clients are with the sales person they are working with, the more they are willing to listen to all of your ideas on how your product or services can be beneficial to them.

Like many of us at Stanford, I was drawn here by the mystique of Silicon Valley. Although I’m digitally illiterate, I smelled tech wealth and hoped to bathe in serendipitous cash flow. I know now that most of the valley denizens don’t hit the jackpot, and none of my classmates seem on trajectory to breed billion-dollar unicorns.

Although Plato elevated the world of forms over its shadowy manifestation, I value earthly execution over ideas. So I offer these inklings for tech knights to breathe life into them. As I come from a family of dismal entrepreneurs (we’re better at healing and nurturing), however, take them with a grain of salt. If similar startups exist, I’m sure you can do better. Google and Facebook weren’t first movers either.

If you need a sinecure co-founder, I am ready. I was an entrepreneurship ambassador at Wharton, and had stints at Ashoka: Innovators for the public, and StartX, a Stanford-based accelerator. I also studied intellectual history, a useful degree for elevator pitches. Unless I drop out with you, I will earn an M.A. in East Asian studies to help you penetrate the world’s biggest market populated by beautiful people.

Reciprocity Ring

During the most popular class at Wharton, we embodied the concept of reciprocity ring by sharing our wish list in class. Then we ambled around and jotted our name if we could help other students fulfill their wish. Mine was to meet a travel writer, and I got introduced to a New York Times travel columnist. Every community harbors untapped social capital, and an app to facilitate matching communal resources with the desires of its members could unlock smiles and hugs.

Running Buddy

Although there is a plethora of apps like Strava to track mileage and pace, apps for finding fellow runners are more rare. As a decade-long runner, I know that runs are more pleasant when shared with other thumping hearts. While some are solitary wolfs, many prefer running in packs. The app need not be complex. Just a few questions about location, time, distance, and hobbies to break ice for friendship will do. We don’t need a fitness Tinder though, because sweaty ain’t classy.

Blue Days

None of us are immune from mood swings, and isolation can deepen our melancholy. Reaching out to loved ones can feel Herculean when depression reduces us to feel like a gadfly. What if there were a platform to share the literature, music, and film that provide solace during darkest hours? If we can see how our friends and role models rebound from failures and tragedies, perhaps that will also sublimate our grief. If you’re skeptical art can sooth broken hearts, check out the popularity of the Blue days book and this Reddit thread.

Geo-based Travelogues

Although blogs and photos of globetrotting friends often pop up on our Facebook newsfeed, they are not organized by location. If they were, perhaps we can have a richer experience gallivanting around the world as we can contextualize our escapades against those of our friends and celebrities. Although numerous apps facilitate sharing travel plans, few apps help disseminate and tag post-travel reflections. Travel can be expanded from a dialogue with physical travel buddies to encompass friends worldwide and even bygone writers and artists.

Although the heyday of Web 2.0 may be over, the rise of the sharing economy has reinvigorated demand for niche social networks. If you can alchemize these ideas into cash cows, please remember your muse, the starving writer. I will not ask for equity or copyright, but I can be hired.