Despite of my tendency to get involved with public speaking at conferences and universities and being a band member, I tend to define myself as an introvert.
I don’t enjoy large crowds and clubs full of people, and I have a small circle of people that I stay in touch with daily. Different tests and studies define me as mainly introverted (since there’s no definitive black or white for anything).
Introverts often need help to sell their services. They may find it challenging to approach new people, make cold calls, or network at events. Extroverts, on the other hand, are usually more comfortable with these activities. They can quickly start conference conversations, call potential clients, and even go door-to-door to make sales.
Partnering with an extrovert can accelerate business growth. An extrovert can handle the more outgoing aspects of sales and networking, allowing the introvert to focus on other areas like product development or customer service. However, it’s crucial that everyone on the team, not just the extroverts, knows how to sell.
The business owner holds a unique position. As the face of the company, they are often the most trusted individual. Therefore, they must be skilled at selling services and building client trust.
Even if the business owner is introverted, learning how to sell effectively is crucial for the success of the company.
Networking Is Essential For Business
One of the things I learned the hard way is that networking is essential for business. According to Small Business Trends, 85% of small businesses get customers through word of mouth. To be more specific:
By far the most common way customers learn about a business is from word of mouth, according to the small businesses in the survey. Eighty-five percent of the small businesses surveyed said customers learn about them through word of mouth. The chart above shows all the responses. As you can see, no other type of marketing or advertising even comes close. Search engines come in a distant second at 59%. Everything else is far behind.
The good news here is that there are different ways of networking. Extroverts tend to surround themselves with as many people as possible, and interact with a large crowd. While this may be logical math-wise, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s efficient or they actually reach to large audience.
Compare the following two scenarios:
- You run a mass mail campaign reaching out to 1000 people with a generic email.
- You contact 20 leads with a personal note, doing some research on their business needs and expectations
What would lead to more prospects at the end?
It depends on numerous factors, but one study quoted by Salesforce states that the email marketing response rate is 0.03%. Again, it’s an arbitrary number per se, but based on that study you’ll probably not get a single prospect out of your mass email.
On the other hand, reaching out to a specific lead (or 20) having done your homework can drastically increase your business chance of bringing more business to the table. Also, this is email – we’re not talking about bonding at conferences or even calls, since text is the friendliest medium for an introvert.
Introverts and Extroverts in Business
HouseHunt have designed a nice infographic covering that question in details:
While it’s a fact that the closer the contact is and the better the rapport is in a conversation, the higher the chance for a successful relationship is, there are quite a few strategies to build your business without being an extrovert yourself. Introverts are shy and are often afraid to present their ideas before the public, but they are terrific in listening to the customer needs and offering the best solution possible to their problems.
Owning a business that solves problems and being an introvert can help you a lot. If you believe in your ideals and are fully focused on helping your customers, you can genuinely promote your solutions for the great deal, and make some bucks on the way. There’s nothing wrong in making a living and making sure that you’re fully covered so that you can spend your time helping your prospects. Selling is not a crime as long as you provide value.
In fact one of the latest trends in Internet Marketing is focusing on Inbound Marketing:
Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers. In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered “outbound marketing”. Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.
Why Introverts Make the Best Sales People
Another post by Lifehack explains why introverts make the best sales people. Trent Hand covers his overview on providing value to their customers, and also elaborates on the wrong perception of sales people out there:
When most people hear the word “salesman” , they picture a flashy, overly-smiley guy with smooth words and lots of charm. He will chat with you for hours about anything and everything, and if he’s really good, he’ll have you handing over your credit card before you even understand what he’s sold you. He’ll collect his nice commission check and move on to the next customer, forgetting all about you.
This doesn’t really describe a true salesperson—this is the description of a con-artist. Sales is really the art of influence and assistance. As a salesman, I help people solve problems that my products or services address. If the potential customer doesn’t have a problem I can address, he’s not someone I will sell to. It’s that simple.
There is certainly nothing wrong in being an extrovert, or being involved with the sales process in general. The problem comes from the broad idea of a shady automobile salesperson figure, or the people calling you every week and offering you services that you don’t need. The fact that they often focus solely on their profits and not their needs doesn’t define the salesmanship at whole, but shifts the perspective in a certain way.
That’s where introverts can shine.
As an introvert, you are usually passionate and empathetic. You can ignore all distractions and fully commit to your conversation, listen to your customers and find the best way to improve your product or service in order to make the best out of the situation.
Some Promotional Ideas For Introverts
While word of mouth is great, you can hardly grow a business relying entirely on your small network. There is one more serious problem with that approach – seasonality of your business.
I’ve noticed over the last 7 years that there are certain moments when we don’t get leads. It’s usually fairly quiet over the Summer here since small business owners are planning their holidays or saving for their trips, and large corporations can’t gather when there are a dozen people responsible for a given project. December and January area also slow due to the holidays, people off skiing or snowboarding, and generally away during with their families.
Inbound.org is a great way to start your inbound marketing journey, since it’s one of the largest communities for inbound marketers. Dozens of valuable articles are published every day from experts in the industry, including HubSpot. Their detailed inbound methodology is available on their site, and that’s the process you need to follow:
In order to fill in your time during the quiet months and make sure that the work load is enough, here there are several aspects that you could focus on in order to improve your online presence, increase the traffic to your site and generate a list of prospects for your business:
Content Marketing / Blogging
Sharing your expertise is a great way to establish trust and become reputable in your niche. Find out what your target audience is and what are they main problems and start blogging about them. List the available solutions, curate other helpful resources, build some list in order to make it easier for them. The more quality content you have, the more followers and regular visitors you will get.
Search Engine Optimization
While improving your SEO is something that you should do on a regular basis, you can spend more time when you’re not fully booked with work. Fine tune your existing content or republish some of your old articles, research your competition, and generate new blogging idea based on your incoming leads from search engines and social media.
Social Media Engagement
There are plenty of tools that could automate the social media management for you. You can easily schedule tweets with TweetDeck or automate your publishing process with Buffer, but spending more time with your followers, post some polls or quizzes and prepare some promotional campaigns could increase the visibility of your brand and connect you with more prospects.
User Experience and Conversion Rates
Analyzing the user experience of your website and improving it could lead to more conversions. Set up some unique landing pages for your specific services and rank them separately than your home page. Add more call to action sections and make it easier for your users to learn the key selling points of your business and contact you.
Build Some Freebies
Whatever your business is, you can prepare some free resources that would be helpful to your clients. Design a set of beautiful wallpapers or logos, build a nice and useful infographic, create a free ebook answering the common questions in your industry, or build an email course for your leads. These would lead to more shares in the social networks, some new followers, or even a decent traffic from Google for a popular page or post of yours.
Email Marketing and Lead Management
As your audience is growing, you can reach out to your customers – your most active people in your comments or the social media. Add them to your CRM or grow your email list. Start an email campaign sharing your business tips or create an automated email series with some insights for your service process.
Introverts have various ways to spend their time without getting out of their comfort zone, and help their business at the same time. Even if you have to jump on a call with any of your prospects coming from your website, these are no longer strangers – you’re talking to people who have been following your blog and social network accounts for a while, and they already know you. The sales process is lean and pleasant, and there is no aggressive selling on the way.