All Great Salespeople are Extroverts: Think Again!

By Keith Lubner, Co-founder of Channel EQ

Examining people and their personalities and then aligning those personalities to specific jobs has been going on for quite awhile. It seems that whenever someone is in a sales role, one automatically assumes that this person must be an extrovert.

In fact, channel leaders have told us that they look for “type A” people. They look for those “outgoing” men and women. They look for those people who seem entirely comfortable in new situations, oozing with self-confidence. We all know people like that, right? On the surface, it appears that this is the type of person you want in a channel sales role. Someone not afraid to “go for it.”

But, like the story goes with an iceberg, the surface always doesn’t tell the entire story of what lies beneath.

The complexity of human relationships and competing priorities and goals in an ever-changing marketplace has created unprecedented challenges for channel owners, managers, and partners.

In this environment, channel owners and partner managers are left asking five pressing questions:

  • How do I get my partners to engage?
  • How do I get my partners to do what they are supposed to do?
  • How do I motivate my partners to focus on selling my product or service?
  • How do I empower my partners to be more self-sufficient?
  • How do I plan for, respond to, and take advantage of disruptive changes in the marketplace without destroying my partner relationships?

Getting in front of the competition will rely on how channel managers can overcome the above, and specifically exists in how they evolve as a person and adapt. You would think an extrovert would be ideal to accomplish the tasks. Think again.

The proof in becoming more adaptive is in the numbers.

A study conducted by a University of Pennsylvania professor shows that an introvert salesperson (someone who is content to sit back, work on their own, etc.) earns an average hourly revenue of $120/hr. It’s exhausting for introverts to talk to people all the time….where in the channel one plays multiple roles.

In the case of the extrovert, they earn a little more. $125/hr. It’s interesting as you would “think” that hiring or developing a person to be “outward” would be exactly what you need in sales. Not always the case.

Now, let’s take a look at the person in the middle. The Ambivert. This is the person who is ADAPTABLE – adaptable to interfacing with introverts and extroverts. They produce $208/hr. Substantially more! It makes sense. Ambiverts are good at balancing between things like talking and listening, where an introvert won’t talk and an extrovert will talk too much.

The reason is that they adapt.

If you want your organization to become really great, really productive, & really profitable, then position your people to become ambiverts. Those that can adapt to any situation will be the ones to thrive!

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