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Mistake 2: I'm an Introvert and Introverts Can't Do Sales and Marketing
When I do market research it involves drinks and tasty treats. Earlier this year I conducted some market research with local business owners to find out how they were feeling about their business and uncovered some thinking mistakes that were critical to the health of their businesses and themselves. This is the second biggest mistake that those business owners talked about.
When your marketing and sales aren’t working, your business suffers financially. There is still a stereotype around the idea that, to be effective in sales, you need a big personality and loads of confidence. Blaming your personality type is a convenient way of excusing you for your failure in this area. Introverts actually make excellent marketing and sales people because they listen first and speak second.
Making this mistake costs you and your business in terms of:
- Clients – The point of being in business is to win business and win the opportunity to serve people. While it is true that extroverts have an easier time talking to people, they don’t always make the best sales people. Think of a time when you recently went into a shop to buy something. You knew what you wanted, you just needed to know if your choice was really appropriate to you and your needs. You asked the advice of a really friendly sales person who then didn’t listen to your questions and pointed you in the direction of the most expensive item that you didn’t want or need. Case in point. Really friendly, talked a lot – DIDN’T listen.
- Financial reward – If you have a lot of trouble facing up to people, you are missing out on business and therefore income. The cost of this mistake is huge.
Cathy is an entrepreneur in the education space. She is an introvert and blamed her lack of sales and marketing on this personality quality. However, when she learned how to truly listen to her clients rather than worrying about her shyness, every sales conversation became an exciting problem solving exercise. By taking her fear out of the equation she doubled her practice within 3 months.
What can you do about this?
People love to stand in their own way. They don’t mean to, but it happens so often. (I catch myself out doing it all the time!) This is a prime example of just that. Taking you and your feelings out of the equation frees you up to be truly present to your client and their needs. It also makes them feel very comfortable. The world needs you to do what you do best.
As in the example above, by:
- asking open questions,
- really listening to her clients and
- repeating back to them what she heard, she found that her feelings were irrelevant.
She was there solely to provide assistance to her clients. Not only did this enable her to close more sales, but she was able to provide excellent advice for her clients and choose more carefully who she wanted to work with. By having the right conversation, she learned who her ideal clients were, and to refer those who weren’t, away to other solutions. Even if they didn’t sign up with her at that time, they trusted her and recommended her to their colleagues.
Objections are often just misunderstandings. And they often point to a deficiency in either your pitch, product or target market.
- Pitch – something hasn’t smelt quite right during the pitch
- Product – they haven’t seen the value of what you offer
- Target market – they are not your ideal client.
Brainstorm every possible objection a potential client may come up with and write your answer down. This will enable you to have really well considered responses at the ready. How you handle objections becomes an indication of your professionalism and trustworthiness.
The most important gift you can give people is to hear them, to truly understand their needs, wants and desires. So by getting out of your own way and offering excellent listening and problem solving skills you are putting your best self forward and engendering trust in all your potential clients.
"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do" - Eleanor Roosevelt.
© 2017 Susanna Wailes