Introverts get a bad rap. They might be considered snobbish, disinterested, or even not that bright.
“Many companies require you to be self-promotional,” says sales expert and author Jennifer Kahnweiler. “But introverts, even if they’re reluctant to toot their own horn, have qualities that can make them well suited to sales success. They listen more than they talk. They tend to have good writing and researching skills, know how to stay calm and focused, and are better than extroverts at picking up on nonverbal cues.”
If you’re an introvert, Kahnweiler offers these success tips:
1. Build in recharging time. “Time management is especially important for introverts, since they often need to disappear and recharge,” says Kahnweiler. “If you have back-to-back meetings, try to work a little downtime in between.”
2. Use technology – but don’t rely on it too much. “Introverts tend to use email and network online,” says Kahnweiler. “That’s fine, but understand that virtual communication is just a doorway. At some point you have to walk through that door with your hand out.”
3. Push yourself, but be yourself. “Press out of your comfort zone a little, but don’t feel like you have to assume a whole new personality,” advises Kahnweiler. “Introverts are often great at one-on-one interaction but not so good at working the room. That can be effective to focus your attention, but don’t spend the whole evening talking to just one person. After a while, move on and introduce yourself to someone else.”