If you met me at a party I wouldn’t have much to say. If you sat next to me on a long flight I may not say a word to you the entire trip. I’m an introvert.
If you saw me on YouTube, Twitter, Google Hangouts, in a TV interview or at one of my sales seminars you would never know it has never been easy for me to start a conversation with people I don’t know. After college I was terrified to go on a job interview, until I realized employers weren’t going to come to my house and hire me. I had been selling cars for seven years and still never got comfortable saying hello to a customer. Yet I still reached the top 1% of all the salespeople in the auto industry.
You can adapt, and be an introvert or an extrovert, depending on the situation.
If you are hosting a party you appear to become an extrovert to keep things going and keep the guests happy, but when you’re a guest at a party you appear to become an introvert. As a professional speaker and educator I become an extrovert in order to deliver information. But when I attend seminars as a guest I am much more introverted. So how do you become an extrovert in sales situations when you are naturally comfortable being an introvert?
I use these 7 tips to step out of my comfort zone:
1. Get passionate. I get so excited about what I’m selling that I’m compelled to share it with the world! When you are passionate about your product, idea or service you pay less attention to how you are perceived. Instead you pay more attention to showing that excitement for what you have to offer and how it will benefit the customer!
2. Get out of your comfort zone once per day. It is very important for me to do things that make me uncomfortable. You need to be courageous and make it a point to face your fears, no matter how big or small. The single scariest thing for me was visiting my customers or prospects in person. So that is the first thing I did every day to get over my fear, which instilled me with courage, belief in myself and changed my focus from limitations to possibilities.
3. Say hello to everyone you pass. I refuse to walk past any person without acknowledging them. I force myself to look everyone in the eyes and say hello. This is like exercising, it builds a muscle that enables me to decide at will when I want to be extroverted, whether I’m on a sales call or any other situation.
4. Go outside. Literally step out of your comfort zone by leaving your home or office often so you can socialize with people. When I move to a new city I will go to the same place over and over until I am comfortable and know everyone there. I have done this same thing with my children, bringing them to the same grocery store every morning until they are so familiar they can talk with the people working there as if they were family.
5. Help others make sales. If I go a few days without making a sale for myself I immediately offer my help to other salespeople. It’s a great way to get outside your own head, because with several failed closes it’s easy to become introverted and anxious. But by working with someone else’s prospects and having nothing to lose yourself you open up, feel more relaxed and regain your confidence. Once you score a sale for someone else, dive headfirst back into your own prospects again.
6. Be so persistent it bothers people. In life and business you won’t become successful if you never get criticized, especially in sales. You need to follow up on customers so much that they actually complain about it, and once they do you need to keep following up until they admire you for your persistence. When you believe in your product, company and yourself you will be willing to insist—and risk being criticized for it.
7. Keep busy. When you are constantly on the go you don’t have time to be uncomfortable or doubt yourself. If you’re busy you are always asking people for help, getting help, and talking to people because you are running from one sales meeting or event to the next—So get out and get moving!
Hope this helps.