3 Ways Introverts Can Win at Face-to-Face Marketing
Sometimes it’s nice to step back and remind ourselves that marketing—in its truest, most deconstructed form—is not a world of wires and screens and Big Data algorithms and companies like Google.
It’s about people.
As you continue to develop your marketing strategy, the best way to remind yourself of this truth is to go out and—gasp—actually make face-to-face pitches to walking, breathing homo sapiens who can and will look you in the eye.
But Wait, What If I’m An Introvert?
It’s all fine and well for extroverts who charge their internal batteries by being around people, but what about the hordes of introverts who find face-to-face marketing exhausting, intimidating, or both?
First things first. About that extrovert thing: It’s a myth that extroverts make better salespeople. According to Erika Andersen at Forbes:
In the article, Move Over Extroverts, Here Come the Ambiverts, he cites a study published in Psychological Science that debunks the widely-held belief that extroverts make better salespeople than introverts. The study found that extreme extroverts and extreme introverts get just about the same (not great) results—and that the people who get the best sales results are those who can flex between introverted and extroverted behavior.
This completely lines up with my own experience as a salesperson, and my observation of many, many other salespeople… I’ve seen that people who can flex their approach as the situation demands—to make another person more comfortable or to best accomplish the task at hand—are much more likely to be successful in influencing others.
Whether you’re an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert, there’s good news: These three practical exercises will help you feel more confident in face-to-face marketing situations.
1. Psych Yourself Out of Your Fear of Rejection
The first thing to banish from your internal make-up is fear of rejection, especially in face-to-face settings where you’re trying to pitch your product or services to a potential client or investor.
One way to get over the fear of rejection? Embrace it.
Imagine rejection is a large bathtub filled with gold coins, and you are diving into it head-first and luxuriating in it with a smile. Rejection in sales is a fact—it will happen, probably often.
Brian Tracy, in his book The Psychology of Selling, explains it best:
Fear of rejection has no place in sales. 80% of sales attempts will end in no. That’s just the fact of life. Rejection has nothing to do with you. It is like the rain or the sunshine. Ignore it like a water off a duck’s back… Some will, some won’t, so what—next!
2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Baby Steps
Good face-to-face interpersonal skills begin at home or in public outside of the business setting. Don’t just think about these things at work. Practice them everywhere.
You might be surprised at how little things in your personal life can completely transform your attitude in business situations.
For example, when you’re walking down the street, don’t hide your face from strangers, staring a hole in the ground with your eyes averted as people walk by you.
Whether you’re in a grocery store or walking in the park, practice making eye contact, smiling with polite friendliness, and saying hello. If you make these outgoing habits a part of your personal life, you will feel more confident in business settings. That mentality will become part of your instinctive attitude.
Sure, saying hello to somebody in a grocery store won’t win you any new clients (usually), but it will transform your head space, and it might even brighten somebody’s day.
3. Mind Your Emotions (They Can Be Contagious)
There’s the saying that dogs can smell fear. Well, in an oddly animalistic way, the human psyche is the same way. If you genuinely like the person standing in front of you, their subconscious can sense that, and they will feel more open to saying “yes” to whatever you’re pitching.
That doesn’t mean we fake it. It means that when we’re in a face-to-face setting, we look for positive things in the person in front of us, things we genuinely like—even if it’s as simple as the shoes they’re wearing. Noticing positive things in other people and focusing on them influences your mental state. Eventually, those warm, friendly, hey-I-like-you emotions begin to show. And when a person senses that you like them, it transforms the dynamic of the meeting.
Your emotions about your product or your service are also contagious. It’s important that you truly love your company and what you offer to your clients. Work on your product until you do—or at least until you can mentally focus on the best qualities as often as possible. Enthusiasm for your business is not something you can fake.
Another classic Tracy quote:
Good marketing is simply a “transfer of enthusiasm.”
Although effective face-to-face skills make up just one of many elements in transforming your marketing effectiveness, it’s something we should never neglect.
Photo credit: Ed Yourdon via Flickr.