Recently, I’ve been reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It’s a fascinating book, one I highly recommend to all business leaders. According to the latest statistics, up to half of your employees could be introverts, so it’s important to understand the different strengths and challenges of both personality types.
It’s natural to assume that extroverts would be better than introverts at cold calling, but this assumption is false. Here are a couple of advantages introverts have over extroverts when it comes to making cold calls:
Introverts Are Better Prepared: A cold caller must be well prepared. They need to know the prospect – their challenges and how their offering could solve them. They need to know their message and script – not to be read verbatim but as a guide to keeping them on track. And, they need to be prepared for all possible objections and how to move past them. Introverts tend to prepare better than extroverts, probably because they know they’ll never be able to ‘wing it’.
Introverts Excel at One-on-One Meaningful Conversation: The best cold call is one that is a real conversation. There are stats that demonstrate how a cold call will go downhill when the caller starts monologuing too much, rather than engaging in a give and take dialogue. This type of one-on-one conversation that is about something real, rather than simple small talk, is one of the introvert’s greatest strengths.
Introverts Are Good Listeners: A successful cold call is twofold. One, the prospect commits to taking the next step with you, often an appointment. Second, the cold caller has gained invaluable intel and knowledge about the prospect. Only a caller who listens can gain such knowledge. Also, listening is important in determining how best to respond to what the prospect is saying. And, finally, listening is a big factor in how well a conversation will go.
To be clear, none of this means an introvert is any better than an extrovert at cold calling. An extrovert can be coached to be better prepared, to stop himself from monologuing, and to remember to listen. Once the extrovert learns these skills, she too will be a great cold caller.
On the flip side, an introvert may need to be coached on how to sound more assertive and firm, how to go for the ask or close, and how to think on their feet a little bit better. Once the introvert acquires these skills, he too will be a great cold caller.
The bottom line is, introverts should not be deemed inadequate for cold calling or any other endeavor. Their strengths, while different, are no less powerful or valuable.