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Can an Introvert Succeed in Sales?

The archetype of sales professional is an outgoing, extroverted, "people-person." Therefore, it's not surprising that some people wonder whether that personality type is required in order to be successful in sales. A reader from Australia writes:
I have been reading your blog recently and find it quite insightful. I really love the psychology of sales ( I enjoy trying to pick people's brains ). My biggest fear about the jump is my introverted personality. I am not a natural networker but realize this is an essential skill. Just curious of your opinion.
Interesting question. Rather than just give my opinion, I think I'll ask the Sales Machine readership.

CLICK for my opinion »


The correct answer, IMHO, is definitely: YES!
In part, it depends a great deal upon the type of product you're selling and industry into which you're selling. Book agents, for example, tend to be, well..., rather bookish, but that doesn't keep some of them from making millions of dollars. Similarly, sales reps in the semiconductor business often hold degrees in Electrical Engineering and could pass for your typical propeller-head.

Even in industries supposedly dominated by fast-talkers, there are introverts who are successful. Many introverted customers prefer working with somewhat introverted sales reps. And being introverted can work to your advantage. It can make you more aware of your own behavior and its impact on your customers and prospects.

So I say, if you're interested in a career in sales, don't let an introverted personality keep you from giving it a go. Your success will be more dependent upon your business acumen, ability to research, and your willingness to hone your sales skills than whether you're a natural at networking.

READERS: Just out of curiosity: