Many believe that sales success depends on being (or becoming) an Extrovert. This belief is so widespread, it’s become an assumption. New research reveals the best sales personality and it may surprise you!
Adam Grant, professor at The Wharton School, conducted a study on which personalities were actually the most successful at sales. Here’s the bottom line: High extroverts, those who are great talkers and highly persuasive, were the not the most successful sellers.
In fact, the study found high extroverts persuade too much. They don’t listen or focus enough on understanding and connecting. This was true for awesome extroverts too. Even the most likable extroverts did not win.
This is great news for those who are not natural extroverts. I talk with lots of people who believe they should be more extroverted and persuasive to sell well. So, they keep attempting a sales style that’s unnatural and uncomfortable. No big surprise, it rarely works and it feels bad too! Ultimately, various failed efforts reinforce their belief that only extroverts are good at sales.
Now we know, that’s just not true. In fact, even the best talkers and persuaders did not win. A balanced approach of talking well and lots of quiet listening delivered the best results.
As a professional in clinical psychology and coaching, I know that careful listening is equally (if not more important) than persuasive talking. This study proves it.
Below are coaching tips on developing a strong successful and natural sales style.
Top Tips for Sales Success
Be Yourself: Being a phony is not only exhausting, it’s a waste of effort. There is no single personality type that guarantees sales success. The study showed a classic bell curve. People on both sides of the extroversion and introversion scale were successful.
Sell with your Strengths: There are just as many client personalities as there are sales personalities. People are drawn to different types. Identify your natural strengths and maximize those to reach people with a natural affinity to your gifts.
Build Specific Skills: You don’t need to become someone else, but you can become a more skilled version of yourself. Identify which listening or talking skills would strengthen your style, work on them. It will build confidence, success and still feel natural.
Use Resources: Few of us can build skills without resources. Quality assessments, coaching and mentoring are all good paths to greater success.
Resource of the Day
Wiley provides great practical assessments to develop your strengths. Click the link below to see a sample personal sales style assessment. Sales DiSC style
The DiSC is completed online in 15 minutes with your personal report delivered via email. Reach out if you’re interested in learning more. (I don’t profit from offering assessments, it’s a service to help clients get quality tools)
Click the link below to learn more about Adam Grant’s research at the Wharton School: research & articles