Introverts Can Be In Sales, Too!
Many people think of a pushy car salesmen or those that occupy kiosks in the middle of the mall when they hear the word “salesperson”. They tend to be outgoing, high-energy people who try their hardest to not take ‘no’ for an answer.
Honestly, they scare the crap out of me, an introvert with some social anxiety to boot. In fact, I’ve been known to fake phone calls just so I can walk past those mall kiosks to give me a lower chance of being approached about trying their latest hand lotion or their three for one customized toilet bowl coverings or some other crap I don’t need and definitely don’t want to talk about.
Extrovert vs. Introvert – What’s the Difference?
Most people are not strictly extrovert or introvert; we all have traits of both, it’s just how much of each that defines which we associate with more.
The main thing to focus on is what do you draw your energy from more, social situations or being alone? If you answer social situations, you are most likely an extrovert. Working better in groups, being able to bust out some wicked charm and persuasion, and feeling like you need to go out to another party just to have people surrounding you all night (my worst nightmare) are other traits of extrovertists. Your social networks are huge, and you tend to talk loudly.
Introverts quite literally need time to themselves over going out in groups. Many introverts are able to overcome this urge and still go out, but I am definitely not one of them. Sure, I go out, but then I need hours and hours to myself to recharge or I will become withdrawn – more than I already am!
As an introvert, you don’t often crave to have attention on you. Introverts tend to be more shy and are often talked over in conversations. That last one is from experience only, I’m not sure if it is fully true. I’ve gotten used to it. Heck, if someone actually hears what I say over others, I’m genuinely shocked…but because introverts tend to also be more creative people, I’m quick to recover and come up with something to say next. Even though I pretty much fear small talk. It’s a problem. I don’t meet many people. And I’m completely okay with that!
How I Manage to Pitch My Product Without Anxiety Attacks
There have been times – too many – when salespeople were too quick for me, and eye contact was made – and we all know what that means. They zeroed in so fast it was like they teleported right in front of me, their sales pitch already half out of their mouth before I could take a startled step back.
My anxiety peaks, I start to stutter as my brain flies to different ways to get out of the conversation without being rude, and I fail every single time. I politely listen to them and eventually end up finding some excuse that works, finally able to get the stranger out of my personal bubble only to find it’s been almost fifteen minutes and all I want is some ice cream, a book, and nice, peaceful silence.
So how is it that me, such an introvert that I need hours of “recharge time” after any social interaction, can attend a convention to sell my novels to complete strangers?
If you’re passionate about what you’re selling, be it your books or the latest purse that somehow doubles as a hat, it will come naturally through your excitement.
Do I want to go up to complete strangers who have never heard of my book and pitch it to them all while fearing I’ll stumble over my words or start sweating profusely or lapse into a made up language out of sheer anxiety? God, no.
But the second I start talking about the plot of A Grim Trilogy, or how my latest book, The Souls of the Lash, is set in the Wild West but happens at the same time as Grim in a different plane of existence…well, hell…I can’t shut up! Because that is the same passion I had when writing it, and it shines through me whenever I realize just how happy the story and its characters – and the fact that I even wrote and published novels – makes me feel. And even better: it’s addictive excitement shows so much, strangers I don’t even know get drawn in.
And there’s the sale.
You’re Not Alone
I’m a pretty big introvert and have had more success selling my stories to strangers in person in a single convention than I have online since my first book released in 2016. If I can do it, you can, my other introverted pals. You’ve got this. Draw upon the passion that fuels you, use that excitment your product gives you and pass it along to customers. You won’t get every single sale, but I promise you this: you at least won’t feel like running away and hiding in the bathroom (or closet, or car, or just leaving all together and going home – yes I’ve done them all) and will have the ability to at least pitch your product with a bit more ease than before.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find a way to get out of some dinner plans so I can stay home and watch Star Trek instead.