Is your Sales Process Inclusive?

Based on the Association of Professional Sales, diverse teams sales growth was on average 10 percent faster and profit margins were six percent higher than their competitors without diverse teams. 

“Making sure all our people’s voices are heard and valued not only helps attract and retain the best people but also helps us deliver better approaches for our clients and our organization,” says Michael Thompson, EY’s advisory accounts and business development leader EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India, Africa).

“People want to see themselves represented at companies they buy from, and a diverse sales force can more directly relate to the needs and wants of the people they are selling to,” says Stan Kimer, President of Total Engagement Consulting.

Although people are quick to assume that workplace diversity only means having more people of color in your office, the technical definition is hiring and retaining employees who represent a number of different characteristics and walks of life. Your organization can increase its diversity of gender, education, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, age, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs, among other traits.

To ensure you have an Inclusive Sales process you must have a diverse sales team. Here are 3 ways to ensure you have an Inclusive Sales Process: 

Eliminate Old Sales Stereotypes 

Sales is no longer a Male-driven industry. More women and even women of color are becoming Sales Experts/Sales People for organizations. A recent company reported 200% increase in revenue from previous year’s Q1 by changing the initial point of contact from male to females. These statistics provides the evidence that Sales have made huge strides. 

Be Open About Your Efforts and Outside Consulting 

“People of under-represented groups don’t expect perfection in efforts—we simply honor an organization’s willingness to ask for help and make steps to improve its inclusive culture,” says  Tash Jefferies, Co-Founder of Hirekind, which offers resources and education to promote diverse hiring in the tech industry.

Create Balance

It’s important to understand your customers/clients and understand who are you representing them in your organization. However, you also want to balance the strengths and weaknesses of your sales team. Conduct quarterly reviews of what is represented in your team vs. the market trends. 

What can you do today to make your sales process more diverse?

7 Reasons Why Introverts Make The Best Sales People (So Stop Using It As An Excuse To Play Small)

As an introvert, you may like to stay to yourself, you might become socially exhausted after events, or you have a small circle of friends.

There is a common misconception that introverts are shy, loner people who cannot excel in social situations. Let alone as a thriving entrepreneur.

I’m here to tell you that being an introvert, doesn’t mean you can’t be a dynamic salesperson.

But, why do more people think Extroverted people are the best salespeople?

The first impression of sales is that you must be outspoken, charismatic, and have a ton of friends. Yes, these things can be helpful in the sales process. However, they are not the only attributes that deem a closed sale or a dynamic salesperson.

Here are 7 reasons why introverts can make great salespeople:

1)      You Are Observant

This is one of the many amazing skillsets of a salesperson. Only 7% of your communication is the words you say. The other 93% of your communication is body language. Introverts tend to be more observant of body language, change of tone and other non-verbal cues. When you’re in a meeting with a potential client, this not only comes in handy but can help you understand your client better. Ultimately, leading to a better chance of closing a deal.

2)      You Have a Plan

While extroverts have a tendency to create a plan after they jump out of a plane. On the other hand, Introverts typically create a concrete plan and structure which is very helpful in the sales process. It creates consistency and provides security to their prospective clients/customers. The best salespeople has a proven system they use every single time to close sales.

3)      Listening is Your Middle Name

Selling is just as much listening as it is actually selling. As a salesperson, you need to understand the pain points, needs, and desires of your client. Introverts tend to excel at listening and being adaptable to the needs of their customers. You can use this to your advantage in any part of the sales process.

4)      You Value Deep Relationships

Introverts are not fond of having a list of acquaintances. Instead, they prefer to have deep relationships with other people. When you’re working a deal with a potential client, a genuine and deep relationship will take you further. Sales are all about trust and relationships. As an introvert, you have a leg up because you tend to create these relationships anyway.

5)   You Are a Realist

Extroverts have a tendency to lean into emotion during the sales process. However, introverts will lean into the reality of outcomes/products which provides more concrete disclaimers prior to a customer’s purchase. This approach minimizes refunds/dissatisfied customers. 

6) You are More Reserved

Extroverts tend to have big personalities and are not afraid to present themselves. While introverts are more conservative and quiet. New studies are showing that the outgoing, charming salesperson stereotype is actually starting to turn potential customers off. In fact, some people put their guard up when they approached by this type of salesperson. This shift in how people react to salespeople can be an advantage for introverts. Your reserved personality may be exactly what helps you relate to your potential client.

7) You Prefer to Not Talk at All

Back in the day, extroverts were often seen as the most qualified salespeople because of cold-calling. To engage in cold-calling, you need to be energetic and have refined social skills. Today, most decision-makers are making it harder to get them on a phone call. We rely more on nurturing and communicating through email than ever before. This is where introverts can measure up even when they are not as social or talkative as extroverts. 

How to Sell as an Introvert

To be effective, be sure to do your research and be prepared. This will boost your confidence and allow you to spend less time thinking of what to say. Instead, you can simply converse without any doubt.

Allow time for yourself to recharge. Networking events or back to back sales calls can be physically draining for introverts. Introverts tire easily from social activities which can make it difficult to interact. Make space for alone time in your schedule or try other traditional energy methods like coffee.

Lastly, don’t use being an introvert as an excuse to not try. There are many introverts who excel in business and entrepreneurship. The key is to understand yourself and develop your skills. 

As a whole, we tend to overlook the value that introverts bring to the table. Being introverted does not disqualify you from being an exceptional salesperson. In fact, you can be an equal asset to your extroverted counterparts if you hone your skills and embrace yourself as an introvert.