When you’re putting together a team of field reps, what is your goal? What is it that you hope your reps can deliver? Great customer service, high customer retention, expansive knowledge of products, and strong problem-solving skills may be among the many attributes that you seek in candidates. Above all, you want your reps to be masters of connection. Being able to connect with clients is crucial, and the key to that strong connection is an outgoing, gregarious ball of energy. Right?
In an extroversion-dominated culture, it is important that we recognize the strengths of introverts who often get falsely pegged as shy and antisocial. While extroverts may be able to nimbly capture the attention of prospective clients, those who are rather introverted tend to have a higher success rate at maintaining long customer relationships. Here’s why:
1. They are great listeners
“We have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionately,” says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Introverts keep the talking to a minimum and listening to a max. This allows them to absorb a host of information and analyze it before communicating ideas out.
2. They give their clients the limelight
Have you ever heard anyone say, “people love the sound of their own voice?” Well, it’s true. Introverts let the clients do all of the talking without interruption –it’s all about the clients, and that’s how they like it. By shutting their mouths and listening intently, these reps communicate their care for the client and genuine desire to address their needs. Take it from the founder of the #1 social media platform in the world, Mark Zuckerberg. Ironic? Maybe a little. Zuckerberg is known to be a rather quiet man around the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, but colleagues like Sheryl Sandberg note how much he listens to and cares about the people who work there, and how far that goes in the success of the company.
3. They have razor sharp focus
Great listening skills and the ability to focus go hand in hand. When reps combine both of these imperative skills, the product is a thorough understanding of the client’s needs. If something is unclear to the reps, they are straightforward and ask more questions. And what’s better than giving clients more avenues to talk about themselves?
4. They lack impulsivity
As someone who was once an extrovert but somewhere along the way experienced a conversion, I can tell you that pre-conversion, the number of times I spoke just to avoid silence was too many. Extroverts cringe at the mere thought of silence. They do anything to avoid it, and sometimes that can mean occupying real estate in their brains with meaningless conversation fillers rather than silence that can help one dig deep and think.
There is no such thing as someone who is 100% introverted or extroverted. When need be, introverts can turn on the face of a warm, convivial field rep. Former Chief Evangelist of Apple, Guy Kawasaki has become a master of the act. On being a “severe introvert” in his executive role he notes, “It’s like being an actor—you don’t have to be an axe murderer to play an axe murderer. And when the role is over, it’s over.” Similarly, extroverts are very capable of picking up on when to talk and when to listen.
Ultimately, the key to a successful team of field reps, is one that is balanced and communicative. There is no ‘best’ frield rep, but you can create your best team by leveraging the strengths of both your extroverts and introverts to maximize your business’ productivity and growth.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Myth Buster: Extroverts Make the Best Field Reps
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