Why There Is a Place in Your Sales Team for Introverts…


Why There Is a Place in Your Sales Team for Introverts…

Undistracted by the glory and acclaim of the high profile sale, introverts remain focused on your customers’ needs, actively listening and building meaningful relationships. While extroverts excel at generating interest and drumming up new business with their flamboyant, enthusiastic and confident personas, introverts are much better placed to nurture your existing customer base.

This point was well demonstrated during a recent visit to a local DIY store. Sourcing materials to build a lightweight, but sturdy human picture frame; I sought help from an assistant working quietly on re-stacking shelves but who instinctively turned and met my eye as I approached. I spoke enthusiastically about my project and he readily engaged, asking questions to determine my exact requirements as he led me around the store.

Having gathered all the necessary materials the assistant kindly offered to cut and angel the lengths of wood for me.  As he worked on the task I began laying the wood out in position on the floor attracting the attention of a number of other customers and three other sales assistants. A buzz soon generated around me and my unusual project. Keen to get involved, another sales assistant recommended using the high tech cutting saw at the other end of the store. There was a great energy as the as the wood was cut and when it was done, the sales assistants wished me the best of luck with my project.

However, as I progressed to the check-out I realised that the sales assistant who had originally helped me, had slipped away; scanning the store I observed him quietly helping an elderly couple in the tiling area.

As I left the store I couldn’t help but reflect on how we often identify the best sales people as those that make the most noise, make their presence known and close the sale at any cost. If this is what we value, it is no accident that we actively recruit extroverts into sales positions.

However, I challenge you consider from your customers’ perspective what makes an effective sales assistant. You should not be surprised to learn that they value dealing with staff who:

1.  Are approachable and make themselves available no matter how small or great their particular need is.

2.  Are happy to listen to their needs and build trusting relationships.

3.  Understand their requirements and don’t push unnecessary products on them.

4.  Show patience and retain interest even when they are indecisive or unclear of their needs.

5.  Go the extra mile to make life easier by offering an additional service or assistance.

These qualities are often more synonymous with the introverted end of the continuum. Introverts interact more easily on a one to one basis, build trust easily and are not easily distracted from their focus. Not driven by egotism, they will be the first to recognise a customer in need of assistance while their extroverted colleagues bustle around distracted by their own propaganda.


Tara Heavey

I've been working with OMT since 2006 as Business Development Executive; bringing 9 years’ experience of working in customer services and relationship management for multinationals in the UK and Ireland. I've a real passion for organisational development and enjoy tailoring solutions to fit the specific needs of each individual client.

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