Who’s the best in sales?

I’ve had this discussion with several of my clients lately. Good sales people, it seems, are getting harder and harder to find. And just how important are they? Very. In last Sunday’s edition of the Washington Post there was an interesting article in the business section – “Leaders sell, and the middleman does it best.” Here’s the online link.

Extrovert or Introvert? While most of us may think that the extrovert makes the best sales person, research tells us that may not be true. The link between extroverts and sales is, at best, “flimsy” – at least according to this article. Interestingly enough introverts and sales success also don’t seem to thrive together.

Ambiverts. Instead, ambiverts have the best sales success, by far. Ambiverts are defined as neither extremely introverted or extremely extroverted. On a scale of 1-to-7 with 1 being the most introverted and 7 being the most extroverted, ambiverts are 3s, 4s and 5s. They are not quiet. They are not loud. As the author, Daniel Pink says, “They know how to assert themselves, but they’re not pushy.”

Easier to talk to. I’ve often referred to this type of sales as “soft sales.” It’s much more effective. The person or company approached by the sales person is less likely to get defensive. And the right sales person asks more questions. There’s very little preaching going on. Instead, there’s quite a bit of inquiry taking its place.

Hiring a sales person? If you need sales at your company, read this article. It’s very interesting and enlightening and may help you choose the right candidate.

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