Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

Your Customer Has a Problem. Are You Ready to Help?

August 27, 2015

Customer service is an essential part of every company. If you’re not prepared, you may pay a high price in lost business.

Todd Martin 082715 image 1

Whether you’re a one-person shop or a company with 500 employees, you’re in the people business. Whatever products or services you offer, you’re going to hear from customers or clients with problems. What you do when that happens affects your relationship with that individual and your reputation. An unhappy customer may well take to the internet and post a scathing review.

Getting a solid handle on handling complaints and problems is essential. Here are some ways to evaluate your current customer service and plan for improvements.

Make It Easy for Customers and Clients to Get in Touch
Right or wrong, your customers and clients want solutions. They want you to fix their problems. Now. The first test is whether they can get in touch easily. Your website needs accessible contact information that’s easy for them and OK for you.

If you’re a small company, you may not have a customer service employee sitting by the phone. That’s OK, but access to help is still important. Email links, social media contact points, and other messaging options work fine, but they must be monitored and lead to timely responses. If you do have a customer service phone line, someone must be available to provide real assistance. Operating hours should be displayed prominently.

Get Proactive with Self-Service Problem Solving
Todd Martin 082715 image 2Make your website a help solution for clients and customers. Use FAQ pages, troubleshooting guides, instructional materials and other content to help people find their own solutions. Host PDF files of product manuals, parts lists, etc. on your site. Include prominent navigational links to resources in your site’s CSS template. Don’t skimp on these features and add new information whenever you discover it’s needed.

For hands-on fixes, consider videos on your site so customers can take care of problems for themselves. Host these on YouTube with clear titles that help people find them. Every problem customers solve themselves is a problem resolved.

Always Work Toward A Real Resolution for Every Problem
Whether complaints or issues arrive in person, by telephone, in your email or on social media, resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction whenever that’s possible. Listen and ask questions until you understand the issue. Then, ask what the customer or client expects.

Try to meet those expectations. If that’s impossible, suggest a compromise that works both for you and your customer. Have an escalation plan available for referring complaints to someone who can find a solution or make necessary decisions. The goal is to reach an effective agreement. Each situation is unique, of course, and creative thinking may be needed.

Customers Aren’t Always Right, But Always Think They Are
Effective customer service requires planning and ready solutions for problems. It also demands dedication to prompt, effective solutions and a consistent positive, responsive attitude. Businesses that put customers first succeed best.

Dealing with customer problems and working toward successfully resolving them isn’t always easy, but always deserves the best effort that can be mustered. Your reputation is at stake.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Responsive Mobile-Friendly Design? It’s No Longer a Choice

August 20, 2015

If your website doesn’t look terrific on smart phones, better get busy.

Todd Martin 082015 image 1

Ready for some shocking news? Google says that as of 2015, more searches are made on mobile devices than on desktop PCs.

The speed of this growth in mobile searches has caught many web developers by surprise. If you’ve been napping, too, the alarm just went off. Putting off getting your website or blog updated for mobile users is no longer an option. You may already be missing out on web traffic and leads.

But wait…there’s more:

Google’s Ranking Algorithms Have Changed to Adapt to Mobile Users
Never slow to adapt, the wizards at Google have taken notice of this increase in mobile users searching for your website. Now, when a user searches in a mobile browser, the latest Google ranking algorithm update looks whether sites are mobile-friendly. If not, they get lower rankings. That’s enough to dump your website or blog off the first page of search results. It could be potentially fatal to your marketing. There’s no time to waste.

If Your Site Is Already Mobile-Friendly, You’re Fine with Google
If you’ve been keeping up with web design issues, there’s a fair chance that you can skate through this change in user behavior. Most updated WordPress releases and templates are mobile responsive by design. Other web development systems, too, include responsive features in their recent versions and newer templates. Find out fast by entering your URL into the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. If it passes, your results page rankings won’t slip.

Todd Martin 082015 image 2

Google Is Just One Factor. Is Your Site Mobile User-Friendly?
Google’s handy test is just for Google. It doesn’t measure visitor response to your pages. That’s a different matter. Grab your iPhone, Android phone or tablet and go to your website. Pretend you never saw it before. Does what you see make sense? Can you navigate easily? Is everything readable? Would you take action? Plenty of sites that pass Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test don’t deliver a good experience for visitors.

If Your Site or Blog Fails Either Test – Don’t Panic, But Don’t Delay
Start by making yourself mobile-friendly. Use Google’s Mobile Design Overview to learn how to proceed and to brief yourself on best-practice goals. If you do your own web design, you’ll find technical tips for updating. If you hired a web designer, get in touch and set up a meeting. You’ll find valuable tips at the link above to help you with that discussion, too.

Let Google educate you on mobile design issues and what mobile users expect. Prepare to invest some time and spend some money. Then, look for a solid ROI from giving your mobile visitors a great user experience.

.

5 Ways To Keep Your Audience From Checking Facebook During Your Presentation

August 12, 2015

It isn’t easy: There’s too much vying for our attention these days, and our attention spans are shorter. But you can keep them listening.

Todd Martin 081215 image 1

It used to be harder to tell when an audience wasn’t listening to your presentation. There were always some clues, like that glassy-eyed look, or the more blatant round-the-room glances and stifled yawns.

These days, a downward look doesn’t necessarily indicate deep concentration and thought. Instead, it means that your audience is checking email or Instagram.

You probably have many of your own ideas about how to do a good presentation, based on all of the bad presentations you’ve attended. We’ve all tried to follow the messages delivered by a speaker who droned on so long that those messages were lost. Or the one who wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone – or worse, focused his or her attention solely on one poor individual in the front row.

Here are a few of the things that I try to do (or not do). Sometimes they work.

  • Know who your audience is, and speak their language. Your presentation to a bunch of 30-year-olds is going to be different than the one you’d give at a gathering of seasoned sales VPs. Don’t tell jokes or anecdotes that the younger crowd won’t get, and don’t use cultural references that only millennials will understand when you address a crowd whose average age is 50.
  • Don’t try to dazzle your audience by maxing out PowerPoint’s features. It’s a good idea to have graphics and Todd Martin 081215 image 2text running on a device during your presentation, but keep your screens really, really simple. Use easily-readable fonts and bullet points. You’re using visual aids to reinforce the messages you’re trying to get across. The audience
    shouldn’t be distracted by a lot of words or flashing pictures.
  • See how few words you can use to sum up your primary message(s). You probably know a whole lot about the topic you’re going to present. Your audience probably doesn’t. Don’t try to impart your entire body of knowledge on them in 60 minutes. There’s only so much they can absorb. It’s better to expand on a few main points than to give short shrift to many.
  • Time your presentation prior to show time. This is tricky. People speak an average of 75-100 words/minute, but know your own speed before you decide how much you can say. Write a 200-word paragraph and read it aloud as if you had an audience besides the cat. But don’t time a presentation to completely fill your allotted slot. You’ll have interruptions and – hopefully – questions and comments at the end. You may speak slower or faster if you’re nervous, so be aware of that.
  • Have contingency plans. It probably won’t happen, but you could run short on your allotted time. Maybe you left time for questions and there weren’t any, for example. Have some FAQs or additional slides loaded and ready to go, and have everything backed up to a USB drive.

If you don’t like to give presentations but you must, or if the prospect of standing in front of a crowd just plain makes you nervous, some smart preparation will make it easier. You might even start to enjoy it.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Profile of a Profile: How the Best CRM Solutions Track Customers

August 4, 2015

Your CRM software or website should tell you everything you want to know.

Todd Martin 080415 image 1

It’s hard for me to believe sometimes how far we’ve come with information management since I started working in sales. In my early days, I used a combination of paper and  software. PC-based CRM solutions were starting to mature, but I was still apprehensive occasionally. Even though I backed up my database regularly, what would I do if I lost all of that carefully-recorded data about my customers?

I used a lot of printer paper during those first years making paper copies of client lists and sales reports. Eventually, as data security and software – and my confidence level –improved, I stopped doing that. I still maintain a rolodex because I like printed business cards and quick access to phone numbers, but I have confidence that the critical information that resides in my CRM solution is preserved.

The Core Expands

Business cards and file folders have been replaced by CRM solution profiles. These are your all-important customer records, and they contain more information about individual contacts and companies than most of us envisioned 20 years ago.

At least they should. How do your customer profile data capabilities stack up to best-of-breed software and websites? Here’s what they offer:

Todd Martin 080415 image 2

You should be able to store — and easily retrieve — an enormous amount of static and real-time information about your contacts in your CRM solution.

Automatic information retrieval. Remember typing in all of those names and addresses and phone numbers when you first started using a contact manager or CRM solution? I do. Seems like I spent more time entering related information than I did on the actual sales calls.

Not anymore. Your contact may have a common name, but email addresses are unique. You should be able to enter an email address, then sit back and wait while your software searches the web and grabs contact information, social network feeds, pictures, etc.

Event-tracking. By “event,” I mean any action that occurs or information that’s made available related to that individual and/or company. Is there an easy way to add opportunities? Documents? Send a message or schedule a meeting and log interaction?

Most recent “touch.” Can you quickly see when you last had contact?

A visual view of pipelines. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. I don’t want to go back to the labor-intensive days of CRM. I want to be able to see what stages my customers are in at a glance. And I’d like a nudge from the system when action is required to move a sale along.

Email notifications. I’m not going to live in my CRM solution. So I want to be notified of specific events that occur related to my pipelines and customers — instantly.Todd Martin 080415 image 3

Visuals of targets, goals, deadlines, etc. What’s happening with my sales now, and how are things looking for a month from now?

None of these features are unrealistic. There are solutions that support such detailed, informative customer profiles. Does yours?

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Proud of Your Ability to Multitask? Maybe You Shouldn’t Be

July 19, 2015

It’s called task-switching, and it’s eating away at your workday.

Todd Martin 071715 image 1

I started to write this blog post first thing this morning, hoping to post it by noon. Here are some of the reasons why I didn’t finish it until 5 p.m.:

  • Multiple documents needed to be signed by multiple people, who took my open door as a sign that I was available.
  • Seems like every email I read required some kind of action.
  • One of my salespeople wanted to talk about a meeting scheduled for next week.
  • Some new promotional items came in, and I wanted to check them out so the team could start giving them out.
  • Another department head dropped in with some survey results she wanted to share.
  • I was doing research for my post, and came across some links related to another project I was working on, so I followed them.

I’m sure you can relate.

When I have a task that requires a couple of hours of concentrated work, I usually shut my door. Sometimes I put a sign onTodd Martin 071715 image 2 it asking not to be disturbed unless the building has caught fire. I block out that time on my shared calendar to indicate that I’m busy. If someone gets through my force field, I politely ask them if it can wait.

But I wanted to test out a statistic I’d recently read. According to the American Psychological Association, “task-switching” – dealing with everything that comes your way even if you should be concentrating on one project – can reduce your productive time by up to 40 percent.

40 percent. That got my attention. I’d always thought it was kind of a badge of honor to be able to juggle multiple activities in the same time period, jumping back and forth as I checked things off of my to-do list.

People have been studying task-switching for decades. It’s nothing new. We started calling it “multitasking” when graphical user interfaces made it possible to move rapidly between screens, often dealing with absolutely unrelated tasks. We’re told by psychologists that different types of thinking uses different parts of our brains, as well as wildly varied concentration levels and problem-solving skills.

My to-do list is so different every day. Some days, I can just take on work as it comes. But when I need to harness my inner resources and devote concentrated time to one project, I do the things I mentioned a few paragraphs up.

Your job may require that you be interrupted frequently. But there are still things you can do to minimize distractions when you need to, like:

  • Turning off unnecessary alarms and alerts, like that little “ping” that sounds when you have an email. Some email clients let you set up a way to know or be alerted when message come in from specific people. If you simply must check your email during a work session, use these tools so you can do a quick scan and get back to work.Todd Martin 071715 image 3
  • Consolidate trips out of the office. If you have to go to HR to get a form, do all of your other out-of-the-office errands at the same time.
  • If you are interrupted, take the time to jot a note about what you were doing and thinking, so you can get back on track quickly.
  • Having trouble concentrating? Organize a desk drawer or straighten up your desk. Doing a task that you can see the results of gives you a boost, and may help straighten your brain out, too.

It’s not just the time that you spend on the tasks you’re switching out. If you allow an interruption during a productive, focused period, it can take more time than you realize to get back in the grove.

Time-management tutorials may or may not tell you about the dangers of task-switching. But now you know.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hitting the Snooze Button in Your CRM Software?

July 7, 2015

Are you ignoring alerts in your CRM solution that could lead to increased sales?

Todd Martin 070715 image 1

I had a sales manager many years ago who was exceptionally efficient and productive. I asked him once what his secret was. He replied, “I never touch the same piece of paper twice.”

That was before so much of our work was being done on computers, before email and cell phones with alarms and scheduling software were so commonly used. Still, it’s a great concept for dealing with all of the minutiae in your personal and professional life. “I’ll deal with this later” was not in my manager’s vocabulary — unless, of course, he was in the middle of a project that demanded all of his immediate attention.

You get what I’m talking about here. As a salesperson, it especially applies to the daily work you do in your CRM softwareTodd Martin 070715 image 2 or website. CRM solutions — and some email applications — contain automated alerts (sometimes called “triggers”). They go something like this:

If [email from specified individual] lands in my inbox, then [flag it or move it to the top of the list or to a priority folder]

or

Follow up with prospect [at specified intervals] 

Those tools are there with good reason, and I try to follow the advice my manager gave me so many years ago when I get one: Deal with it NOW. Unless the office is on fire, or there is a prospect standing or seated in front of me, ready to sign, I respect those alerts. I set them up so I could take action at the earliest opportunity. I don’t save them up and deal with them after lunch. Those alerts are gold — they represent research and digging that I don’t have to do. They help me save time, serve customers and prospects better, and, in some cases, they can put me on the path to a sale.

There may also be triggers in your CRM and email and social network environments that aren’t automated, but which you should take action on immediately. Here’s what I jump on the quickest, in no particular order:

  • Complaints on social media. Especially if it’s a customer of mine. If no one is designated to watch for disgruntled customers, and you don’t have a dedicated customer support feed, it’s important that these be responded to as quickly as possible. Even I I can’t do anything, I want them to see that we’re listening.
  • Queries regarding products and services. Same concept here. You saying Yes, we’re here. We want to know if there’s a way we can help you solve a problem.
  • Trolls. You’ve seen them: individuals who — for whatever reason — leave unacceptable content on one of your public feeds. Get rid of it. If others see it, they’ll wonder who’s minding the store.
  • Any email or posts from one of my customers. Doesn’t matter what it is. I’m their primary contact, and I want them Todd Martin 070715 image 3to know that I’m interested in the entirety of their experience with my company.
  • Emailed alerts from my CRM solution or an integrated application. Even if I’m ready to pack it in for the day, I follow any links like this back to the source.

You never know what point of contact is going to lead to a sale. And with the attention span of the general public now shorter than that of a goldfish (seriously), rapid responses are critical. Deal with customer touches as they appear and move on.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are You Guilty of These 9 Bad Behaviors?

June 26, 2015

Sometimes, how you sell upstages what you sell.

Todd Martin 062615 image 1

Think for a minute about some of your first sales calls. Maybe you were a pro from the start, but if you’re like most of us, you learned through trial and error what worked and what didn’t.

Be yourself. Be honest. Use the positive parts of your personality as you develop and modify your selling style. Experts are full of advice like that.

Over the years, you’ve probably also tried to determine why some sales didn’t go anywhere. Your products were perfect for those prospects, you thought to yourself, and they seemed interested up to a point. What went wrong?

Sometimes, it has more to do with how you conducted yourself than what solutions you were offering.

What Prospects Don’t Want

I’m not exploring this topic because I want you to be harder on yourself than some of you already are. But I just read about a study that might shed some light on your rejections.

If you find yourself losing patience during a sales conversation with a prospect, for example, take heart: This trait came in last (2 percent) in a recent survey conducted by the American Management Association. The organization recently surveyed 1,100 businesses to learn which sales tactics were the most – and least – annoying.

In the number one slot was being too pushy, with 24 percent. That can mean a lot of things, but I think of it as being so Todd Martin 062615 image 2focused on your own goal – making the sale – that you don’t listen to your customers. You see their lips moving and you know they’re talking, but you don’t hear them.

I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The focus in the early and middle stages of a sales conversation should be on that person standing in front of you or on the other end of the phone or in an online chat situation. Who are they? What are their needs? Can your product or service help them? If you’re really hearing them, you’ll know when you can start to steer the conversation toward exploring a sale.

Not taking “no” for an answer was the most annoying trait to 23 percent of the respondents. It’s only when you truly understand your customers’ needs that you can empathize with their situation and see what value you might be able to offer them. That “No” tends to come earlier when you’re being pushy (see previous two paragraphs).

Following along these same themes, 18 percent of businesses surveyed cited not listening as the biggest turnoff when dealing with salespeople. And right on the heels of that, talking too much really annoyed 9 percent.

Todd Martin 062615 image 3The remaining unattractive traits were more tactical, and related more to the mechanics of a sales pitch:

  • Bait and switch (8 percent)
  • Reading from a script (7 percent)
  • Using meaningless sales jargon (or terms) (5 percent)
  • Upselling (4 percent)

Granted, you could ask 1,100 other businesses what their top sales pet peeves were, and the percentages might come out a little different. But this list rings pretty true to me, and it’s a good digest of behaviors that we all might want to avoid.

Stock photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sloppy Writing WILL Cost You Sales. Here’s Why.

June 17, 2015

Are common mistakes in your writing sending readers away?

Todd Martin 061715 image 1

Throughout our school days, from elementary school to college, we heard this line from every teacher: “Spelling, punctuation and grammar are important.” We got that, but not everyone was an A student in English class. We often don’t recognize the errors we make as we write.

Multiple proofreading passes in blog articles, web pages, emails and memos don’t work if we can’t spot the problems. Even professional writers sometimes miss grammar and punctuation mistakes. Spelling checkers now catch our typos and misspellings almost everywhere, but punctuation and grammar are another matter. Going over the rules yet again isn’t the answer. Here’s what you need to know:

Why Correct Writing Is Crucial

Whatever we write represents us, from a brief Twitter post to a complex web page. In business, it’s also the voice of our brand. Awkward writing, sprinkled liberally with grammar and punctuation errors, makes readers cringe. Even people who can’t write well recognize ungrammatical writing and are confused by poor punctuation. “Let’s eat Grandma” does not mean the same thing as “Let’s eat, Grandma.” Readers who encounter sloppy writing leave quickly and don’t return.

Google Measures Content Quality

For websites and blogs, great search engine results rankings are everyone’s goal. Current Google ranking algorithms look closely at your content, including its spelling, grammar and punctuation. They also check readability and how long visitors remain on your pages. All of those factors have a heavy impact on rankings. Keeping all online content clean and correct will boost your SEO performance.

Today’s Grammar Checking Tools Work Well

The automatic grammar checker in all versions of Microsoft Word finds and helps to eliminate most common errors, but Todd Martin 061715 image 2only if you use it. Use Word not only for printed documents, but also as your editor for website content and other projects. For all browser-based writing, install Grammarly as an add-on to your favorite browser. Even the free version will automatically flag and help you fix grammar, punctuation and word usage errors as you write. Pay attention as you use these tools, and your writing skills will improve, too.

Simplify Your Writing Style to Reduce Errors

The more complex your sentences are, the more likely you’ll make grammar and punctuation errors. By simplifying sentence structure, you’ll find it easier to write clean, problem-free copy. At the same time, you’ll improve the readability of your content and convey your message more clearly. By emulating Hemingway (simple) rather than Dickens (complex), you’ll get better reader retention and conversion. That’s the overriding goal of all business content.

Focus on Content Quality and Boost Your Bottom Line
The content you create doesn’t have to be a literary masterpiece. It just has to get your message across to readers effectively without sending them to their browser’s back button. Errors in any copy tend to jar readers, even if they don’t know exactly why. Clean writing, free of spelling, punctuation and grammar errors, keeps them reading.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 Ways to Optimize Your Blog for Sales

June 9, 2015

Social media experts often say that actually selling on a blog doesn’t work. They’re partly right.

Todd 060915 image 1

Can a well-written, carefully-designed blog help you make sales?

Yes. But that’s not its primary function.

Trying to use your blog as a direct selling tool is unproductive, and it reduces readership. Instead, think of your blog as an educational medium with strong ties to sales content on your website. That strategy will help you build followers and generate leads and sales.

Blog readers want relevant, useful information. Give them that effectively, and they’ll follow your links to website landing pages. Lead them there this way:

  • Make getting contacts your top priority. Your blog design absolutely must incorporate a persistently visible contact box or widget. If your current design doesn’t allow that, it’s time to redesign. Include all methods of contact in one compact space. A live telephone, an email link and a website landing page link are essential. Include social media link icons and a subscription link, too. Making it easy for visitors to get in touch isn’t just a good idea – it’s the only thing Todd 060915 image 2that matters.
  • Make your blog readers want more — and lead them to it. Don’t give away the whole package in a blog post. Supply basic information in a compelling and compact format. Aim to build interest, not to satisfy the reader completely. For example, if you’re discussing a new product or service, just hit the highlights. Link to a specific, perfectly-relevant landing page on your website, and send your guest there for more. Let your website do the selling. That’s its job.
  • Give something valuable away to collect contact data. Depending on your business type, offer something valuable as a gift. Be as creative as possible. White papers and email newsletters don’t qualify. They’re old school. Offer something that has unique value to your target audience. Advertising tchotchkes can work. You can also offer discounts, specials, tip sheets, consumer guides, or other items that attract visitors. Offer real value. If you wouldn’t want it, your readers won’t, either.
  • If you send visitors somewhere, don’t let them get lost. Too many bloggers understand calls to action, but falter in the execution. If that link in your final paragraph doesn’t lead readers directly to relevant information, you’ve wasted their time and yours, too. Design landing pages to match your blog and ask visitors to visit the exact page you want them to see. If your landing pages don’t lend themselves to this type of link, change your website. It’s that important.Todd 060915 image 3

Make Your Blog Lead To Your Real Pitch and Readers Will Follow
Blogging takes time and burns creative energy. Unless your blog actually encourages contact by visitors, it wastes both. Focus on the informational side of the equation in your blog writing. Be smart about leading readers to your carefully-designed website landing and contact pages. That combination will help build your readership and effectively boost your sales and lead generation.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Introverts Can Stumble at Presenting, But Shine at Sales

May 31, 2015

So you’re an introvert, but you chose sales as a career? How your inborn traits can work for you.

It may seem odd on the surface that someone whose personality leans to the introverted side would choose to go into a profession where social confidence is pretty important.

But there’s a difference between being introverted and being shy. It would be difficult for a truly shy person to be in a sales job where numerous social contacts were required daily.

If you wanted to unload a personal or professional problem on someone, you’d most likely choose someone who listened well, synthesized the information you shared with them, and asked a lot of questions before responding. Someone who treated what you said to them as more important than what you had to say.

Those are some of the traits that both introverts and the best salespeople have.

Finding Solutions

The job of a salesperson is to make sales. But when you think about it, salespeople are really problem-solvers. People buy stuff for a lot of reasons – sometimes, just to buy stuff – but the merchandise they purchase will help them in some way.

While I was at the mall the other day, I went into a Pearle Vision store because I needed a pair of reading glasses. I asked a salesperson if they sold them, and she led me to a  corner of the store. “But,” she half-whispered, “We don’t really have much of a selection. You might try Barnes and Noble.”

That’s like sending a Macy’s customer to Gimbels, if you remember the scene from the old Christmas movie, and I’m not suggesting that as a regular approach or you and your family will starve. Plus it was clear what problem I was presenting. But this saleswoman didn’t just try to make a sale. She understood my need and evaluated whether her store would provide the best solution for me.

More Thought, Less Talk

It’s the thought process that I’m getting to here with this overly-simple example. Usually you have to dig a little to uncover the need. And introverts are experts at that. I think they can be excellent salespeople because:

  • They tend to talk less and listen more.
  • They probably developed their social skills using that combination of traits, being more comfortable asking questions than expounding on a topic.
  • They’ve learned how to draw people out, and don’t miss snippets of what the other person is saying because they’re readying their own response.
  • They’re comfortable spending time alone, and they often use those hours to read and absorb information in other ways.

I’m not extrovert-bashing here or setting up an extrovert vs. introvert fight. People with both types of personalities can make very successful sales professionals. I’m just trying to dispel the notion that you must be talkative and outgoing and socially confident to make a living at this work we’ve chosen.

Some Downsides

The characteristics that can make an introvert good at sales also give them an edge in the short-attention-span world of social media. They’re used to making their points more succinctly than someone who enjoys the spotlight.

But being an introvert can make it difficult to do live presentations with an expectant audience staring at them. Still, this self-awareness has two advantages even here:

  • Presentations may be more participatory, and,
  • More painstaking preparation may be done to avoid the dreaded what-do-I-say-next moments.

There’s plenty of gray area in personality traits, and I think a lot of people have some of both introverted and extroverted characteristics. But I do believe that introverts should not look with envy on salespeople who have the easygoing gift of gab. They should use their own way of relating to their advantage.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,190 other followers