There is a common myth in sales that suggests if you are going to succeed in selling you have to be a high energy, outgoing and talkative “showman” type. There is no way that a quiet, thoughtful, private person can succeed in sales, right? Absolutely wrong! It is true that a lot of outgoing “people person” types end up in sales, but that personality style certainly isn’t a requirement (or guarantee) for success.
No two people are exactly alike. In March’s blog post titled “Customer Types,” I referenced the Carew process models for the different ways we are wired as customers. Just as there are different types of customer personalities, there can also be all different types of seller personalities. For someone who is very security oriented (likes to evaluate and research all their options) and is risk-averse in the decision process, a “high energy” sales person might actually make them very uncomfortable. A key to successful selling is being able to adapt your selling approach to the way the customer feels most comfortable buying. You don’t have to become someone else; you just have to adapt your natural style to each individual person and situation. Sometimes that means “dialing it up” a notch, and often it means “dialing it down.”
You can be very successful in sales with almost any type of personality if you are willing to adapt, but more important is if you truly care about what is important to the customer. Most people will buy from someone they feel has their best interest at heart, has taken the time to really understand their needs and has offered a solution tailored to those exact needs. “Backslapper Bob” doesn’t stand a chance against that type of sales approach!