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Sales Training Today Is For Extroverts — How To Change That?

Most sales training is geared towards extroverts, chiefly for the fact that few introverts entertain sales as a viable means of generating an income, but when the introvert joins the ranks, they can bring a lot to the table that extroverts cannot. It’s important to identify the positive traits that introverts can bring to the table, and how to mine them. Here are some ways that you can tailor your sales training to include the introvert.

Identify Your Introverts

Personality tests are fast becoming popular among recruiters who play a high emphasis on communicability with other associates, and the traits with which individuals present that may fortify their sales team. These tests generally give an accurate depiction of whether or not the individual is introverted or extroverted, among other things. Incorporate personality tests (like this one) into the application process to begin identifying your introverts. File each application under ‘introvert,’ ‘extrovert’ or ‘introvert/extrovert.”

Study Your Introverts

Once you’ve identified your introverts, observe them. Observe their interactions with customers and with other associates, as well as their performance when they are working alone. Many introverts struggle with peer interaction. By now, you have grown accustomed to the social roles that each member of your sales team has assumed. Ensure that introvert vs extrovert interaction does not disrupt their responses to one another.

Additionally, most introvert vs extrovert behavioral models suggest that introverts respond well to structure, such as specific instruction, as long as they can empathize with the person delivering the message. Keep a close eye on your introvert’s body language. Do they drop their head or shoulders when communicating with you or others? Do they look down or appear confused when assigned simple tasks? These observations will come in handy later on.

Hone Your Communication With Your Introverts

Social interaction is a facet of human psychology to which many business owners fail to assign sufficient importance. We are creatures of comfort. We learn best in our comfort zone, of which our interaction with our peers–or lack thereof–is an integral part. As your introvert is quiet and seeks to please, he will be more receptive if he views you as an authority figure and not as friend.

Speak clearly and with authority, but not anger. When describing a task, use specifics. When walking your introvert through a task, compartmentalize the various aspects of the tasks into blocks that he can process quickly–this involves trial and error–, and include examples of how not to complete a task. Smile and laugh enough to foster trust and to encourage your introvert to voice any concerns that he may have, but have your introvert mirror your instructions to ensure that your expectations are clear.

Assertiveness Training Classes

Assertiveness is something with which many introverts struggle, but the art of communicating clearly and with authority can be mastered by anyone. As aforementioned, introverts tend to respond favorably to structure. Offer assertiveness training classes to both your introverts and your extroverts. These classes are geared toward encouraging socially appropriate levels of assertion on both sides of the fence. Extroverts learn to temper their assertions while interacting with others. Introverts learn to identify situations in which being assertive would play to their advantage, to mine their assertive side for effective communication with others, and to use it appropriately as the need arises.

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