As a self-professed introvert (and proud of it), articles about the introvert experience frequently catch my eye. Unfortunately, so many of them center around "curing" introversion or "overcoming" introversion or "succeeding in spite of" introversion, especially when the topic in question is a career in sales.
Well, I disagree, at least for REAL ESTATE salespeople. Sure, if you sell widgets or gidgets or smidgets and it's your primary job to continually SELL your product, then yeah, the natural personality of an introvert might get in the way. We don't like to bug people; we don't like to intrude on people; we worry constantly how others are perceiving us and therefore have a pretty tough time Doing Unto Others as We'd Hate Them to Do Unto Us (that is, try to sell them something they may not want).
But, I've always argued... how exactly is real estate a sales career? What, exactly, do we sell?
Houses? Uh, no. We don't actually sell the house.
Ourselves? Well, yes, but so do a lot of other self-employed professions and we don't call them salespeople. When you visit your accountant and he helps you through a complicated process (e.g. filing your tax return) and gives you professional advice, is he selling? When your general contractor manages all the moving pieces and parts of your construction project, is he a salesperson? When your dentist uses his professional expertise to do your root canal and oversees the process from start to finish... is he selling?
No, and neither are we when we help our clients buy or sell homes.
Sure, we need some sales-type skills... we need to be able to write appealing copy for our marketing materials; we should be good negotiators and we should have some systems in place to stay in touch with the people we know and a plan to meet new people, but I don't think one needs "natural sales ability" (whatever that is) to be a good writer/negotiator/stay-in-touch-er. In fact, one might argue that we introverts (‘cause we LOVE the details) might actually be better at such things!
No offense to our wonderful, delightful, charismatic extrovert friends, but STOP trying to cure us. We're terrific just the way we are!!! And yeah, we can SELL REAL ESTATE!
- The Reluctant Salesperson
- Introverts Are (Sales) People, Too!
- An Undiagnosed Introvert
- In Praise of the Unnatural Salesperson
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