Introverts and extroverts alike have been fighting stereotypes and misconceptions for years. Not all introverts are shy, and not all extroverts are outgoing! The main difference is that introverts thrive in more solitary settings, and extroverts are at their best when they are around other people. Just because introverts work best alone, does not mean that they cannot be good salespeople. Just because extroverts do best with others, doesn’t mean they can’t sit down at home and get their administrative tasks done. Both introverts and extroverts just need to learn to play with their strengths and work on their weaknesses.
Read through our list of strengths and weaknesses for introverts and extroverts. Think about which ones apply to you, and try to work on those qualities so you can improve your sales tactics!
Communicative Skills – What introverts lack in verbal communication skills, they usually make up for in listening and written communication skills. Health care and finances are very personal and individualized topics. Everyone has different needs, so you need to be a great listener to sell the right policies to the right beneficiaries. Written communication skills are incredibly important for following up after your appointments.
Loyalty – Introverts tend to be very loyal because they don’t open themselves up to very many people. That’s why when they help a client that they like, they’re likely to do whatever they can to help. Introverted agents will likely be good at building relationships with clients and partners.
Thinking Things Through – Due to their more reserved nature, introverts tend to think things through more than extroverts. This means that they might take more time on things, but they are less likely to miss important details and are more likely to look at all the facts before making a decision.
Calm Observers – Introverts have an observant nature. They like to take in everything around them and can easily pick up on subtle clues from others. Introverts are more likely to realize if a client is uncomfortable or is silently disagreeing with something.
Prefer To Blend In – Although introverts are great with written communication, they prefer to blend in with a crowd. Because of this, they are less likely to go out of their way to meet clients and make sales. When it comes to face-to-face communication, they prefer to lay low.
Less Desire to Network – On the same token, introverts are less likely to attend networking events and parties where they could meet potential partners. They are less likely to walk into doctor’s offices and build relationships with the staff.
Overshadowed by extroverts – If two agents attend the same lead-generating event, and one is introverted while the other is extroverted, the extrovert is likely to gain the most clients. They are more likely to show energy and shake hands, while introverts are more likely to spend a lot of time with one or two clients. Introverts can easily be overshadowed by the energy that extroverts can show in groups of people.
Conversation is natural – Conversation comes naturally to extroverts. They generally like being around people and can talk about almost anything with almost anybody. It’s easier for extroverts to make small talk and get to know clients before jumping into the health care conversation.
Great at networking – An extrovert’s desire to be around others makes them more likely to attend networking events and to attempt to build partnerships. It’s easy for most extroverts to walk into an unfamiliar room full of strangers and start shaking hands.
Thrive in group settings – Unlike introverts, extroverts get their energy from people, so they can perform well in group settings. Extroverts will perform best at large networking and lead-generating events, while introverts will perform best in one-on-one appointment settings.
Entertainers – Most extroverts are natural entertainers. They like to talk to people, to make them laugh, and to do their best to understand them. While they usually aren’t as good at listening as introverts are, extroverts like to know people.
Talking Over Listening – Extroverts usually prefer to talk than to listen, but it’s important in a sales environment to listen to the client’s concerns and needs.
Easily Bored – People with larger, more outgoing personalities (like most extroverts) can become easily bored in intimate settings. This can be a problem for extroverts in one-on-one appointment settings. They can become easily distracted, or start talking too much and not listening to the client because they feel the need to fill the empty space.
Difficulty Connecting with Introverts – Because extroverts and introverts can be so different, extroverts can sometimes have a hard time connecting with and understanding introverts (and vice versa). It’s hard for one to understand how the other can act and feel so differently in specific situations, so when an extrovert is forced to meet with an introvert, it may not go as well as it could if both parties were extroverts.
For more advice on your specific personality type, check out our post about Myers Briggs!