Conventional Wisdom: The best talkers, or extroverts, make the best salespeople.
This advice is just simply not true. First off, extroversion is a style and should be treated as nothing more than a style. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that selling is about talking. Talking is o
ne small component of selling, but listening is the greater asset.
At its purest form, selling can be reduced to qualifying. Qualifying a prospect involves determining their needs, budget, decision process and time frame to purchase. These pieces of information are gathered through asking good questions and then listening to the prospect. Often times, the introverted styles are more adept at gathering this critical information.
My advice would be to look at a salesperson’s qualifying skills in the hiring process as opposed to their linguistic mannerisms. Watch for their ability to ask pertinent questions regarding the opportunity. Some candidates will be outgoing, jovial and entertaining. And they will prefer to hear their own voice over that of anyone else in the room. At the end of the interview, they will have talked much and asked few, if any, questions. What did they qualify about the opportunity?
Other candidates will be more reserved and thoughtful in their responses and relaxed in asking qualifying questions back to the interviewer. We have observed some candidates who are so deft at qualifying that our customers didn’t even realize how much information the candidate gathered during the interview.
The information-gathering ability is the sign of a strong qualifier, whether they are gregarious and outgoing or reserved and serene.