Would you believe the most effective sales people are introverts?

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?””            Brian Tracy


Listen to be great at sales
Selling gets easy if you understand how to hear what your prospect needs.

According to Brian Tracy (this guy is serious about thorough research) “As many as seventy five percent of all top salespeople are defined as introverts on psychological tests. They are very easy going and other-centered. They would much rather listen than talk.”

This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Sure the stereotypical salesman is a barker and a manipulator, but you hate them. It’s the people that relate to your needs and offer easy solutions to your problems that are a pleasure to do business with. Usually the listeners are introverts.

That doesn’t mean they can’t learn to be incredible public speakers, leaders on boards, engaging entertainers and people who lead and foster causes. They just do it differently.


Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy

Just because you’re uncomfortable in crowds, prefer to work behind the scenes, are better one-on-one than in groups, find parties energy draining instead of invigorating, and are perfectly comfortable spending time alone doesn’t mean you can’t be fantastic at selling.

It’s a lot easier to encourage people to buy from you if you’re thinking focuses on what the prospect is saying rather than pitching and overcoming objections. If you can read between the lines (most introverts are very good at doing this – they spend more time watching people than keeping the attention on themselves) and learn to be quick on your feet about offering creative and customized solutions, you’ll be amazed at how many clients you can amass.

Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” – Brian Tracy

So, if you feel you are too shy to get out there and sell, stop thinking of it as selling. The most cherished providers are trusted, caring problem-solvers. Instead of going forth with your product or service in mind with communications, consider learning what it is a prospect really needs. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you get labeled a great conversationalists even if all you do is listen.



13 responses to “Would you believe the most effective sales people are introverts?”

    • Thanks for the link Alan. Too funny. I’m guilty of creative, but honestly, it wasn’t an overused term 23 years ago when we crafted a positioning statement for the company. Which is another great point she makes – the ‘elevator speech’ is passe, isn’t it?

    • Nice to see you here, Kelly. Thanks so much for stopping by! Frankly, I was shocked when I heard this too and thought the same as you prior. Guess it’s the usually stereotyping of extremes. When I think about it, though, I’d consider most of my business associates introverts. That doesn’t mean they’re not out there being seen and social, it’s just a different style in how they do it.

  1. wow, did you hit the nail on the head. I have always been a back of the house person. As a Chef, I would work in the public eye when required but always enjoyed working in the kitchen and letting my creations sell themselves. Now that I am working online, listening to people is my new challenge because online, we listen a lot differently that when we are actually standing next to someone. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks

    • Thanks for stopping in and commenting, Chef William :-). I’m an introvert too, but few who know me would believe it. I’m looking forward to trying your soup recipe spotlighted today on your blog. On the small world front, I plant about two acres here of vegetables, herbs and fruits – no chemicals ever and no gas engines in the garden after the growing season starts. I’m always looking for new ideas on how clients (I deliver to homes and businesses weekly) can prepare the goodies I bring. It will be fun to follow what you spotlight and share (if that’s OK with you). Thanks!

  2. I have always avoided sales, knowing all that stuff that we introverts are labeled with,except at the beginning of my working life. I worked as a florist and loved helping people with their choices – all those defining moments in people’s lives were a privileged to be a small part of. It was actually the most enjoyable job I held as far as the people contact went – and I got to make lovely things with flowers! I’ll have to rethink what I would be good at.

    • So glad to hear this post caused you to reconsider your convictions, Jo. Being in the business of selling is wonderful when your focus is on helping people to improve their life experience. In my experience, it’s not about the product or service, it’s more about the depth of the relationship. People appreciate those who listen and truly care. Not so much those who manipulate toward a buying decision.

  3. I like your perspective and the fact that you distinguish the difference between sales people we hate and sales people that we love to buy from. Those that “hear us” are always going to be the ones that draw us back to them again and again. It’s an important subject to bring to the forefront because so many people do not believe they can sell and in most cases, they are the very ones that would be brilliant at it.

  4. I consistently excell in traditional sales roles much to the curiousity of those that know me as an introvert. This let’s my cat out of the bag, Nanette. LOL Put it back. 😀 Seriously though, this is a fabulous reminder that listening is a skill more of us need to exercise.

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