One of my private coaching clients is a very shy, intelligent introvert. George is second in command of a multimillion-dollar, family owned company. Customer contact to this point has been strictly through customer service and a distributor network. There is no salesforce.
We had very intensive conversations about the necessity of having direct contact with the customers through sales people and/or business developers. Sales had been flat for several years, and over time there would be declines if there is no active sales and marketing.
George was reluctantly determined to do this himself. At first, I discouraged this idea. He had no idea what to say or do. However, after much discussion, we agreed that George would call 10 customers in 2 weeks. The purpose of the call was to just go over their YTD sales, ask them what the driving forces are, and have a few prepared questions to ask.
We wrote down the questions and discussed the different scenarios. I left and came back in 2 weeks and Jim had only made 2 calls. Then came the excuses. We went over all the scenarios again, and I said I will be coming back in 2 weeks and expect 10 calls.
2 Weeks Later...
As I approached his office I was ready to fire my client. I was pleased to discover that Jim made 8 calls, and all I could say was WOW!
By formulating the right questions, Jim got valuable market information like pricing and products. Now, he has at least 1 new project for his lab, which could generate substantial sales. He was invited by 2 distributors to travel with them to their customers. It is a start. I may have been more pleased than he was. There is a true thrill when you see someone achieve success.
The moral of the story is that there are some introverts that make excellent sales people. Introverts normally ask more questions and listen better than the average sales person. So don’t be afraid to do direst sales just because you are not a great talker.
Be a great listener instead.
A SCORE mentor can help you analyze your company’s sales slumps or lack of growth and guide you in putting a process together. Click here to schedule a free mentoring appointment today!