As an introvert, I believed it automatically meant I was not going to thrive as a business person. Business involves marketing, selling, and promoting ourselves after all. All of these are skills I believed I could never attain, let alone excel in.
As it turns out, introverts can be extremely great entrepreneurs. According to a recent article in Forbes, as much as half of the population in the U.S. are introverts, including some of the most successful entrepreneurs today: Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerburg, Warren Buffet, and J.K. Rowling.
If you consider yourself an introvert, you already possess many characteristics required to be effective in sales. Your ability to really listen and make others feel heard and valued and your propensity to do your due diligence and research your audience so you can ask meaningful questions are skills your potential prospects notice and appreciate.
The thing that trips us up is our preconceived beliefs about what “sales” is and the type of person you think you need to be to get more clients to work with you.
Back in the pre-internet days, making sales involved cold-calling, sending mailers, and taking out ads in your local newspaper and yellow pages (remember those?) in hopes someone would pick up the phone or see your ad and call you.
Fortunately, we now have the internet and can literally reach millions of people around the globe any time of day or night. We don’t always have to get on the phone or Zoom, many business owners can find clients in online communities and chatting via direct messaging.
This is amazing news for introverts who can become drained after a couple of hours on the phone or in live networking events.
If 2020 has taught us anything about how we run our businesses, it is that we better have a solid plan to build multiple streams of income involving virtual coaching, digital products, and online offerings so that we are not tied to one location, one economy, or one basket with all of our eggs in it.
Social selling has completely changed the game. We are able to reach and serve more people than ever before. This is a good thing, especially for introverts!
Instead of advertising to everyone and trying to convince people to hire you vs. your local competitor, you can now attract people to you so they are booking calls with you. They can discover you through your online content and then vet you through your social media posts, videos, podcast, stories, blog posts, and interviews. Once they see how awesome you are they will gladly take you up on a free consult so they can get your expertise to help them move forward with their goals.
You do not have to adopt the used car salesman or annoying script-reading telemarketer zombie personality to be good at sales.
You just have to be more of you. Listen, check for understanding, empathize, ask for permission to make a suggestion, and overall just be helpful. Serve. These are your superpowers and when you lean into them all the way you will shine as a knowledgeable, and caring coach and find yourself with a waiting list before you know it!
3 Key Mindset Shifts
I’d like to share 3 key mindset shifts that helped boost my confidence in the way I approached the idea of selling that will help you too:
Cultivating a GROWTH mindset.
There is no such thing as a natural salesperson. Sales is a skill and yes, you can learn it. You don’t have to be like the Wolf of Wall Street. Having a growth mindset means you choose to believe you can learn new things at any time. You can always improve.
Watch the language you use to describe yourself. Maybe you are telling yourself “I’m not good on the phone”, “I stutter and trip over my words”, “I’m too timid”, “I’m not charismatic or convincing enough” or “I’m not bubbly enough.” These stories involve an underlying belief that the problem is unchangeable. Not true. You can improve, and what is even more fascinating is that sometimes you don’t have to. There are 8 billion people on the planet and there will most definitely be a large subset who find your personality, traits, values, and flavor to be superior to anyone else.
Embracing the NO.
A few years ago I was taught the “S4 Mantra”: Some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting. Instead of fearing the no, I embraced it. I didn’t expect it. I told myself to go into my consult calls without expectation of a sale. My goal was to simply listen, serve, and be helpful. I wanted each person to leave the call feeling better than they did before the call with one tangible action step to move them forward.
I focused on what I could control, not the outcome. The fact is, the no’s will come before the yes’s. Taking action and staying in motion will help you get there faster. No doesn’t always mean no – it can mean “Not right now”, “I don’t have enough information to decide”,”I want to but I’m scared” – not necessarily “I have no interest.”
If someone took the time to get on a call with you, they have interest. Many of us internalize objections as proof we are not worthy and allow it to derail us from persisting until we get it right.
Consider your results as data. Is there enough data to conclude what you’re doing isn’t working? If not, keep going. If yes, can you make a one percent shift in your process and then track that for a while to see if it makes a difference? Use your results to determine how you adjust not as evidence you should give up.
Dedicating time on the calendar for conversations.
You can surely keep yourself busy perfecting your website, organizing your emails, and writing out your to-do lists, but the only way to get new clients is to get into conversations.
For me, this means putting dedicated blocks of time on my calendar for this activity. During this time, I am either hosting a Zoom/Skype/Phone call or spending this time engaging in the comments sections of Facebook groups where my ideal client is also a member. It’s so easy to join into a conversation that is already happening and find a way to be helpful. Treat the group as a real live in person networking event and mimic the conversation you would have there. Many times people immediately start pitching themselves. This is not something you’d do in person, unless asked, so online should be not different.
The cool thing for introverts is that it allows us to pop into conversations we want to be a part of and we can stay in the room as long as we want to. We can schedule our networking time during our highest energy hours of the day and in our comfy clothes vs. attending a live networking event where you have to be present and look the part during a time that is not necessarily convenient for you. The other awesome part about online networking is that every member of that group can see your response, not just the person you are responding to, meaning lurkers who value your feedback may reach out to you as well.
If you lean towards introversion, you want to be sure to honor your limits and your capacity so you don’t drain yourself and burn out. Take the time you need to go offline and recharge so you can make the most of the time you have.
Do things that energize you like listening to music, exercising, and spending time outside. Get into the mindset to serve, not sell, and you will attract more ideal clients who are ready to work with you and less resistance and fear around selling.
Just getting started with booking consults? The Ultimate Guide to More Effective Sales Conversations for Health Coaches and Wellness experts is for you! These 6 lessons will show you exactly how to get started scheduling consults, directing a meaningful conversation, following up, and tracking your results. You’ll reverse engineer a successful sales consultation (or discovery call) and get more clients to “Yes” in the fastest most direct way possible.