"Mismatched" Spouses - Introverts & Extroverts

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Got a great question from a reader yesterday!sad face

NH writes:

Dear Jennifer,

What do you do when your spouse doesn't get the SWS* [Sell with Soul] concept? My husband is a born salesman if you know what I mean. He has no problem striking up a conversation with anyone, in fact I get some leads from him because he isn't ashamed to brag about me and refer me. I feel blessed to have someone who believes in me so much and supports my career. But we have now had two heated discussions because I was explaining the SWS concept and why I thought it was the perfect thing for my personality (which is the total opposite from his) and he started "coaching" me on how to get out  there and to face things that scare me; cold calling, door knocking, etc. He said, "Everything can't be all fun and there are things in every one's job that they don't like. You can't always take the easy route" (when it comes to lead generation).

You probably know how I was feeling. I'm not sure what to say anymore because every time we discuss it, someone ends up getting hurt. Has anyone else had this problem, if not with someone close to them, maybe a team leader, broker, or fellow agent?


Oh, yeah, NH, I SO feel your pain! I've dealt with this all my life, although not as much anymore because I can throw the "I wrote a book about it!" card around. The thing is, extroverts often really don't understand us - they just think we're wussing out when we refuse to do things that make us uncomfortable. I've had my share of knock-down, drag-out fights myself over my more reserved personality, and, like yours, they always end badly.

Here's an article I wrote on the subject - Stop Trying to CURE us!. Here's another "I'm a Reluctant Salesperson". And another. "Introverts, Stay IN Your Comfort Zone"

I believe that a large percentage of the real estate failures (that is, agents who enter the business and then quit) are due to the cookie-cutter training that insists there's only one path to success, regardless of one's personality. That simply ain't true. Once a salesperson (regardless of his or her product) acknowledges, accepts and even celebrates his natural God-given talents and interests, he can blossom doing things HIS way.

But force him to do it THEIR way and he'll almost certainly fail. It's not a matter of being stubborn or stupid or lazy or wussy. We introverts just have a different perspective on the world and the people in it. It's not better, it's not inferior; it's just different.

NH - I'll chat with you more about this offline, but thanks for the Monday morning blog material!

Any fellow Introverts (or Extroverts married to Introverts) have any tips for us? (Other than "suck it up" - we've heard that one before!)

* When I advise agents to "Sell with Soul" it simply means (among other things) that they should stay true to who they are, whether they are introverts, extroverts or something in the middle. But many introverts equate SWS to introversion because the SWS philosophy is one of the few that acknowledges the fact that introverts can be successful selling real estate. However, to clarify, you don't have to be an introvert to  Sell with Soul!!!!



p.s. I have a special newsletter just for introverts - you can register for it here: http://www.sellwithsoul.com/r_prospect.html

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Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Here is what I learned. I worked with a guy named Tony. The way he sold was so opposite of the way i worked . I would not buy anything from him. Yet both of us were very very sucessful. He even more than me. So what I learned was embrace different techniques and if SWS is not your cup of tea so what if it works.

May 18, 2009 12:56 AM #10
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

Hey passion and service will lead to awesomely great sales.  Thanks J.

May 18, 2009 01:17 AM #11
Heather Oberhau
Prudential Fox & Roach - Newtown, PA
Bucks County Real Estate, e-PRO

Hmmm, I usually tell my husband that I don't tell him how to do his job, and I'd appreciate it if he didn't tell me how to do mine.  Probably not the most conducive to solving the problem :)


May 18, 2009 01:24 AM #12
Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Gardnerville, NV

One should adjust to the customer.  If they are an introvert... you be quiet.  If they are chatty - you better get to talking.  People like people that are like them.  You can't wait to only deal with people like you - change to be like them.  Sure its like acting, but then you are selling.  You will always be you in your heart, but you should relate to people in the manner in which they communicate.

May 18, 2009 01:32 AM #13
Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate
RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. - Windsor, ON

Hi Jennifer, Good post. Thanks for sharing.

Best - Sash

May 18, 2009 02:03 AM #14
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Grat insights, as always, Jennifer. Now I need to take a critical look at my strengths and apply them...

May 18, 2009 02:22 AM #15
Kim Peasley-Parker
AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc. - Sumter, SC

Jennifer- I think you are so right.  Right now, I am seeing this in my office to a big extreme.  Extroverted broker and introverted agents.  The broker is "challenging" the interoverts to step out of their comfort zones and knock on doors.  So far the agents have done this but it has only worked for a few of the agents as far as getting results.  I am not on the hot seat so to speak for a couple of reasons, one of those being that I have proof that my farming and blogging are bringing me business.  I hear about the frustration all the time from the agents though.

May 18, 2009 02:41 AM #16
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

There are more differences than just introverts and extroverts. I'm extro and hubby is intro. BUT, once he warms up to you, he's your buddy for life, while I'm not very interested in friendships. As far as I'm concerned, we balance each other out nicely. The clingy clients that want a buddy after the fact get pushed off onto him. lol. I can't stand it.

May 18, 2009 04:45 AM #17
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

What works for some will not work for all!  we all need to carve out our own style and our own pieces of any sales business! 

PS: got your email, Just had a crazy day and will get on it for you!

May 18, 2009 09:44 AM #19
Kathy Sperl-Bell
Active Adults Realty - Lewes, DE

Jennifer - When I was a Sales Manager back in the day in the computer business, I always told my sales people that there were as many different ways to succeed in sales as there are people. I tried to help them find their own way. It's always better to have a variety of people and styles in an office!

As to living with a salesman? I tried that 25 years ago and he would always start with "What you should have ...." Well, what I did was leave him! Even extroverts have their own style.

May 18, 2009 09:56 AM #20
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Kathy - LOL... anytime a sentence starts with the words "You should..." that conversation is doomed to failure!

Rob - Seems like a simple concept, but I can't tell you how many agents write to me claiming that their broker won't "let" them do it their way!

Erica - It's such a fine line...

Lisa - Interesting - I can relate. I think I'm a combo of you AND your husband, if that's possible!

Kim - Let me at 'em! It's so hard on us introverts when the extroverts in our lives pressure us to step out of our comfort zones. Often, we'll do it ourselves when we're ready, but being pushed just freaks us out!

Tim - YES YES YES!!!

Sasha, you are very welcome!

Jim - Great advice... I just have a hard time doing it. I'm definitely not a chameleon...

May 18, 2009 11:03 AM #21
Lisa Arnold
Weichert Realtors/Forked River - Forked River, NJ

Extroverts get out there and meet lots of people, but not all of those people like to deal with extroverts; that's where us introverts have the advantage. 

Got the 6th on my calendar for your teleseminar.  Can't wait. 

May 19, 2009 12:52 AM #22
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

I am shocked that a broker wont let some one do it "their way"  maybe they should ask for a salary!!! after all, they are independant contractors, are they not? 

May 19, 2009 02:35 AM #23
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com

Hi Jennifer... great stuff!!  Two quick thoughts....

SWS is the way to go, but there are those that use it as an excuse to not work hard... and yet they still expect business to just find them.  Then they blame the concept of SWS instead of their lack of effort and discipline.

Anyone that insists their way is the only right and successful way has control issues, whether they know it or not.  They may be nice, well-intentioned folks but seem to also limit themselves without knowing it.  Getting an answer right does not mean you know all the answers or your answers are the only answers.  Thank goodness!

Peace!  G


May 19, 2009 04:22 AM #24
Valerie Parks
Parks Enterprises Atlanta, Georgia - Atlanta, GA
Parks Enterprises - Atlanta, GA

 Me and my husband are introverts. Although he usually is more organized, and able to "get er done". I'm better at deciding what needs to get done, and he is better at getting it done.  We work well like that. It's good to play off of each others strengths. In this case the husband may be pushing a little too much.  

May 19, 2009 07:48 AM #25
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Men ARE from Mars, you know...and when presented with a "problem," they want to fix it!  God bless 'em for that trait, but sometimes their idea of a fix is not the idea we need. 

This hubby reminds me of all those cold callin' and door knockin' agents who like to say, "get out of your comfort zone.  Just do it!"  LOL

In the case you cited, though, is the problem that "NH" has not yet been successful, thus leading dear hubby to think her approach isn't working?  Perhaps he is right she isn't doing what she needs to do in order to be successful, but perhaps he isn't right in saying it is in her approach.  I cannot help but think if she were successful, they would not even be having the conversation.  So, maybe there is a problem, just not the problem she thinks.  ;-)


May 20, 2009 06:15 AM #26
Sue Gabriel
Cleveland, OH

I get similar comments from my husband...but he's more introverted than I am! We'd both rather sit home than go to a party with a ton of people, but we're also pretty chatty when around people we're comfortable with. It's very hard to define one way or the other.

May 25, 2009 10:20 AM #27
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate - Monroe, WI

I'm an introvert married to a complete extrovert, so I understand this so well.  After 19 years together, we have learned to understand our differences.  It just takes time and a little education on the part of each spouse.  I learned to be honest and frank with my husband about what works for me when he would give me advice like this.  There is no cookie cutter approach to anything in life.

May 28, 2009 05:22 AM #28
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Sorry I missed commenting on your post, it's very interesting. Myself, I am a Gemini so I am introvert & extrovert, it just depends on my mood!

Vegas Bob

Jun 01, 2009 12:19 PM #29
Sharon Sapp
Century 21 Gold - Reading, PA
For Old Fashioned Service with Today's Results!

I'm like Vegas Bob in that I'm both a Gemini and an introvert and extrovert but am much more comfortable as an introvert. My personality is more nurturing, helpful caring than a "hey look at me" type. I have gone up to strangers looking at real estate books and handing them my card and questioning them as to whether they are "lookers" or "buyers" and telling them to contact me when they are ready or if they have any questions. I'll steer them to my website, also. The times I do that, my extroverted husband calls me "The Hawk". He means that nicely but I really don't like it. I don't want to be perceived that way. Anyway, we always talk about it and the end result is I let him be the extrovert and he can get me as many leads as he wants to. I'll continue to stay true to myself and get my leads my way. It works and I get double the leads!

Jun 05, 2009 02:50 AM #30
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