Who make the best salespeople: introverts or extroverts? Actually, neither.

A couple of years ago during an interview I was asked the almost inevitable question “Are you an introvert or an extrovert?” to which I responded “neither”.

The interviewer was adamant that I must be one or the other and it made me question why this should be the case.  It seems to be unquestioned wisdom that the best sales people are extroverts and if you are in least bit introverted then there’s no way you’ll be successful in sales.  However, there are lots of reasons why this simply isn’t the case.  For example, I used to work with a man who’s friendly, outgoing, confident, enthusiastic, great at getting along with people, but couldn’t close a sale to save his life for the simple reason that all that enthusiasm meant that he didn’t listen.  Equally, another ex-colleague of mine was quiet and unassuming but his unthreatening nature and methodical way of working meant he was really rather good at sales – the only frustration being that he could have been absolutely amazing if only he would come out of his shell a bit.

So who ARE best at selling?  Ambiverts.

Ambiverts sit somewhere between introversion and extroversion and display personality traits from both.  And it absolutely makes sense that it is this personality type that makes the best sales people as, ultimately, selling isn’t about foisting your personality onto your client.  Successful selling involves listening to and relating to your client, presenting to them a person they would like to deal with and a company they want to engage with.  The best sales people are the ones who adapt their behaviours to the situation in front on them.

So, which personality type are you?


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