Selling for Introverts

Somebody asked, “What was your favorite part of Inbound 2012?”. There were many great speakers, several exciting announcements and innumerable, useful ‘how to’ tips, but Susan Cain made my trip worthwhile. She twisted my head. She told me that I’m OK. She made me understand the ‘why’ of Rick. She also made me realize how I want to spend my working time.

I will not try to recap her talk, and I haven’t yet read her book. (I will, but I just heard her yesterday.) So, you should visit her website, go hear her speak or buy and read her book.
So, how did Susan Cain make my trip worthwhile?
I knew this before, but Susan (May I call you, Susan?) gave me permission to be OK with the fact that, I am an introvert that is expected to be an extrovert. I’ve been telling people all day about my introversion, and they’ve all been replying with, “Yeah, right!”, but it’s true.
Remember this post? Did you read, “I learned to pretend that I wasn’t smart, shy, or introverted“? My mother (who reads this blog and will probably comment to confirm) has told me that I’m the last one of her children that she thought would ever be a salesman. It took me six months to make a friend in kindergarten. You want further proof? I was smart in school. I always knew the answer when the teacher called on me, but never raised my hand. Class participation or divide up into groups? Yuck! Reading my paper in front of the classroom? I’ll be sick that day!
How come people think that I’m an extrovert? “I learned to pretend…” I’m an actor, but when I get off the stage, I love being alone. I’ve written 823 posts with a total word count of 232,314 words. That’s a lot of alone time. Think about you. If you would rather reply by email than pick up the phone, you might be an introvert and I can relate. I don’t want to talk to people, but I realize that I need to talk to people in order to do my job.
Now, here’s how Susan changed my life. She made me realize that I am not alone. That there are millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners that are introverted. They like being alone and would rather do ANYTHING else than start a sales conversation. So, they nurture their leads using software. They build an on-line following in the hundreds of thousands, but never have a conversation with any of them. Susan made me realize that I like working with introverts more than extroverts because I relate to the introverts because I’ve been there and they realize that when I coach them, I’m using my actual experience and do understand.
So, buy her book, and if you’re an introvert and want to learn how an introvert became a maker of RainMakers,
send me an email

and I’ll do the rest.

6 thoughts on “Selling for Introverts

  1. Rick,

    I had the exact same take-away from Susan’s talk. I always knew I was an introvert, and have spent my professional life “pretending” to be an extrovert. Even at the show, I preferred being off in a small group at the parties instead of mingling around and meeting people. I was then further reminded of this during my first post-Inbound meeting where I was “struggling to get a word in edgewise” when talking with some of my coworkers.

    But I’m not worried – Susan gave me a nice confidence boost and reminded me that I’m not “wrong” or “broken” or “need to be fixed”. I’m ok just the way I am.

    It was great running into you again, keep up the awesome work!

  2. Good observation, Jason. Many introverts are attracted to inbound marketing and do generate leads, but sometimes those leads are also introverts and they don’t know how to start the buying process. Somebody needs to start.

  3. Susan brought us out of the woodwork. I’ve always said I was but because I’m sociable and a story teller —no no your not an introvert.

    Great comments,


  4. Rick,
    Agreed! Great post.

    Susan’s talk was eye opening–I didn’t realize until quite recently that I am an introvert. I had the behaviors and feelings (leaving a great party after 2 hours, anyone?), but not a name that put it all into perspective.

    Like Chris, Susan gave me a confidence boost and made me realize I’m not broken and I don’t need to be fixed.

  5. Rick, what a great post! I too felt liberated by Susan’s talk. You will enjoy her book; I’m on my second read. You’ll find some stories in there of others like yourself: introverts who learned to project extroversion when necessary, and have lots of people fooled.

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