As a CEO and founder of a company that coaches introverts, many people find it surprising that I only admitted to myself recently that I was an introvert.
Which is crazy since I remember being in the 2nd grade absolutely horrified that the teacher might call on me and the entire class might stop and look at me all at once! I used to hide at lunch time in high school because I was too embarrassed to ask someone to sit with me.
Because the truth is, I thought being an introvert meant that something was wrong with me.
Fast forward a few years and I ended up with a job in corporate sales. I forced myself to attend conferences that drained me, pretended to be someone outgoing, attempted to make small talk and did all the things I thought I needed to do to be a high performer. But I finally got to a point where it was just too exhausting.
The incredible thing was that once I started being myself, I became every more successful.
When I started teaching others how to sell and grow their business revenue, I finally realized that I had adapted my introverted style to work for me. Not only was it not a flaw or something I needed to change, it was my greatest asset. It might be yours too.
So, I created five simple tips for my introverted coaches and friends about sales that I want to share with you.
1. Be the REAL You
The key to confidence in sales is knowing and owning your sales style.
Many people have a false perception that they must be pushy or "salesy" to sell. You don't. You can be quiet, goofy, introverted coach. You don't have to fake it, you just have to be you (in the way you are most comfortable).
I’m an introvert which means I connect much better with one person or a small group vs a large group of people. I had a lot of guilt about avoiding large group presentations or huge dinners for my clients when I worked in a corporate setting.
Once I stopped doing what everyone else was doing, I became more confident and created stronger client relationships.
2. Make It Personal
Your story is what makes you unique and memorable.
Talk about yourself and what makes you unique. I’m from New Jersey and had horrible social anxiety as a kid. I also got fired from my last two jobs. I used to be terrified to talk about those things but those events shaped who I am today.
When you tell stories about your personal experiences, your create a way for people to connect with you. I always tell my clients to share the one thing they are afraid to tell people.
Because it’s usually something that will create a huge impact for others by sharing.
3. Don’t Quit Before You Get Started
50% of people I talk to say they are terrible at follow up. Newsflash – the money is ALL in the follow up.
This is the single, easiest thing you can do to increase sales. But often people feel like they are being annoying by following up.
I had a financial advisor who was pitching me for two years and she consistently followed up with my every 3 months with a thoughtful, non-pushy email. Every time I saw the email, I appreciated it but the timing wasn’t right. Finally, after eight emails I called her and still work with her today! Her gentle persistence didn’t irritate me, I appreciated it!
Here is an interesting statistic on follow up: 60% of sales are made after the fourth discussion yet 94% of people quit after the fourth call*.
Those 6% are making a lot more money!!!
*From The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
4. Say Good-Bye to Guilt
Being confident in sales is about having the right mindset.
If you feel guilty about asking someone for the sale you are already setting yourself up for failure. Instead, approach each discussion knowing that selling is serving and that you may have a "sacred contract" with the person you are talking to.
Almost everyone I work with has a story about finding a client at exactly the right time. Everything magically fell into place and it seemed like total serendipity. It was clear they were meant to work together and it was as if the universe magically made it happen.
There are so many people you are meant to work with but if you never share your work, how will people find you?
5. Show Up and Be Seen
Not publicizing our gifts can be especially hard for us as introverts. Your amazing coaching business shouldn't be your best kept secret.
And no one can find you if you are hiding your awesomeness.
Take a baby step: post your writing on Facebook, show a friend your art, just take a baby step to showing someone your work.
You may be surprised at how great it feels & what amazing feedback you receive.
I can’t even count the number of clients I have had that say things like, “I am terrible at sales.” Or “I just hate selling!”
But the truth is, they never even tried to learn or improve. They assumed there was only one way to sell and it required fast talking or sleazy sales techniques. Once they accepted there was a new possibility, everything changed.
I encourage you to examine your mindset about sales and how its holding you back. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.