Intro or Extro Verts: Which Makes the Best Salesperson?

If you're an Extrovert, you just laughed and thought "you've got to be kidding?"

Introverted sales're shaking your head because you know you are but also know the extrovert believes he is.

Tanveer Naseer writes "Are You Fitting Employee Personality Into Your Leadership Puzzle?" and I add "and your sales type puzzle?"

In Good-to-Great, Jim Collins gave us very tangible evidence that a Level 5 leader was very rarely a charismatic person and many of us think of introverts as charismatic. At an off-site meeting of some 18 company leaders I showed a film where Collins talked in depth about Level 5 leaders and at least one person in the room needed counseling afterwards. A very charismatic leader, he had built his career, sparadic at best, on that strength and was at first appalled that someone was saying such, but came to the realization of its truth. At my encouragement, he tried to overcome his weaknesses, through coaching, teamwork, and technolgy. That was difficult for him and we stopped working together a couple of years ago; progress had not been good. Many of his charismatice ways kept rising to the surface and wore others out; lots of start, not near enough finish.

But is that normal? Yes, it very well can be if your personality doesn't fit with the job. This person was a great starter and connector. He was not a good finisher. Naseer points to a recent study by Adam Grant, Francesca Gino and David Hoffman and "where the researchers pointed to particular situations (I say jobs) where certain personality types can help leaders better manage the collective efforts their teams."

This is where my everyone that connects with a client is a salesperson, or should be.

The Austin American Statement ran a series of articles back in the early '90s with the results of the interiews with numerous sales managers. The reporter asked the managers "what type person makes the best sales person? Introvert or Extrovert?" The article was heavily favored towards the driven introvert.

By-the-way, Naseer's article is very good. You can read it on his blog at

Remember, pay attention to what your selling, because you are.

To that end.


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