Are the best sales people extroverts? Contrary to popular belief, no.

In fact, people who are highly extroverted tend to make poor salespeople as do people who are highly introverted.

I’ve been inundated with references to extroversion and introversion in the past week so I thought I’d do a little research.

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Interestingly, there has been some important studies done in this area valuable to those of us working to understand what contributes to the best sales approach.

Here’s some background.

Extroverts gain energy from being around people and usually feel bored and unhappy when alone. Introverts gain energy from spending time alone or one on one with people they know and like. They can find spending time with large groups of people exhausting.

Most of us fall on a spectrum somewhere between Extrovert and Introvert and this is called Ambivert. Turns out, the closer you are to the middle, the more likely you are to excel in sales.

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The Five Factors Model of Personality and Sales Performance takes an in-depth look at the relationship between extroversion and sales.  While some extroversion traits, like high energy and sociability, do lend themselves well to sales, others can interfere. When extroverts have a need for attention, a need to dominate the conversations and to be the expert, they often alienate their potential customer.

Are you curious about where you fit on the Introvert-Extrovert Scale?  Here’s a quick 3 minute online test 

If you fall in the middle, know that you are well suited to connect and engage with people and you have the potential to be excellent at sales.  The reason Ambiverts make such great salespeople is that they can adapt their style to align with others.

If you fall on either end of the spectrum, you’ll likely want to consider how you can moderate some of the characteristics that could be interfering with your sales success.