In American workplaces, 96% of leaders and managers self-identify as extroverts, and people with extroverted personalities are more likely to be considered for promotions in many industries.
Part of it is this idea of the stereotypical extroverted salesman. I love this clip from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross:
To me, Alec Baldwin is the epitome of a classic salesman in this scene. “You got the prospects comin’ in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? Guy doesn’t walk on the lot unless he wants to buy. Sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it?”
But with the internet playing such a huge role in the sales process, the game has changed. Prospects are no longer at the mercy of the Alec Baldwins who hold all the power and strong-arm them into making a deal. Today, over 60% of the buying decision is made before a prospect ever contacts your company. That’s because people are using the internet to do their own research and find solutions to their problems.
Today, marketers and salespeople shouldn’t Always Be Closing—they should always be helping. But doing that properly—sharing helpful content at the right time and nurturing a relationship—can sometimes be a challenge for people with certain personality types.
Of course, every person is unique, and a trait that applies to one extrovert may not apply to all of them. But in general, some of characteristics that are typically associated with extroverts can make it hard to grasp the inbound method.
Here’s Why Some Extroverts Struggle with Inbound Marketing & Sales
Many extroverts crave stimulation.
Don’t get me wrong—the world of inbound marketing can be positively thrilling. The feeling you get when your email engagement rate is through the roof, or when a prospect revisits your website and downloads more content.
But one important aspect of successful inbound marketing is timing. Extroverts feel most energized when they’re interacting with others, and it can be a challenge for some to embrace patience over action when it comes to marketing and sales. The inbound methodology emphasizes the imperativeness of properly timing your connections with a prospect so that you can reach them when they are most open and receptive.
Extroverts can be prone to dominating the conversation.
Extroverts are typically great conversationalists. With a love of being social and a natural inclination towards outgoingness, extroverts thrive on talking to others.
But this tendency to dominate conversations can be a hindrance to the inbound marketing process. Because they are more likely to express their passion in an external way, an extrovert may be inclined to talk a lot to their prospect.
In order to truly understand their Buyer Personas, sales and marketing people should be asking thoughtful questions that will help the prospect understand their own priorities and challenges. Some extroverts find it a struggle to sit back and listen instead of steering the conversation in the direction they want it to go. They may not even be aware they’re doing it.
What’s even trickier is that listening may not always come in the form of a face-to-face conversation or a phone call. It might mean social listening, or paying attention to the prospect’s behavior on your website. All of that digital data-gathering with no interaction can be a drain on an extrovert’s energy.
Some extroverts may come on too strong.
One great trait of the typical extrovert is that they are gregarious and unreserved. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being outgoing. But if the constant desire to reach out and connect interferes with the inbound process, that’s where things get hairy.
Like I said before, the mantra for an inbound salesperson or marketer should be “always be helping.” An extrovert may find it challenging to educate instead of persuade.
Instead of asking questions such as “what can I do to get you to sign up today?” the inbound method focuses on becoming a trusted advisor to your prospect so that when they’re ready to buy, you’re the clear choice.
The point of this article isn’t to say that extroverts can’t do inbound marketing or to discourage them from trying. Anyone can be successful at inbound marketing and sales. We all need to learn how to take the inbound methodology and apply it to our own individual working style.
The most important thing is meeting the client's or prospect's needs. Extroverts, introverts and ambiverts all have qualities that make them great at sales and marketing. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, leverage your unique skills and personality traits to your advantage and play to your own strengths.