How to Tell if a Prospect is Introverted or Disinterested

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When your prospect rejects your sales pitch immediately, it may not always be a sign of disinterest. Learn how to identify introverted prospects and how to sell to them.

It's discouraging when a prospect immediately shuts you down. In response to your introduction or opening sales pitch, you are met with a curt "I'm not interested" or a "no thank you." Some are simply not interested, while others are introverts whom feel uncomfortable when confronted. You can't sell to the person who is disinterested, but you can change your techniques to effectively reach introverts.

The Mind of the Introvert

Introverts tend to find social situations draining and often become overwhelmed during an innocent confrontation, such as a sales situation. They tend to be cautious and guarded of their personal lives, which is why they often are quick to shut out a proposal. They also tend to be quiet and think carefully before saying anything. If they aren't give the time to carefully think about a situation or feel under pressure, their natural reaction is to shut down.

How to Differentiate Between the Disinterested and the Introvert

The first thing you need to do after you're shot down is determine whether your prospect is truly disinterested or is introverted. Verbal and physical signals can clue you in: Eye Contact: A disinterested person will usually give good eye contact. They'll either show either an unwavering stare, to let you know they aren't interested, or an unintentional blank stare if they aren't yet aware their bored. An introvert will avoid eye contact all together, or make quick eye contact before looking away. Body Posture: A disinterested prospect will often stand straight with their shoulders back. An introvert is more likely to slightly hunch or roll the shoulders forward in an subconscious attempt to hide. Arms: The disinterested person generally holds the arms straight down. An introvert often crosses their arms, an unintentional effort to protect themselves from uncomfortable situations. Vocal Cues: A disinterested person will most likely speak at a normal volume level, if not a little louder, and probably won't won't show a great deal of stress when they reject you. An introvert generally speaks as few words as possible in an effort end the conversation quickly. When they do speak, they tend to talk quietly and may slightly stutter.

Selling to an Introvert

If you think you are dealing with an introverted person, then you need to change your sales technique. You need to get the introverted person to lower their social defenses so that you can reach them. Ask a question to get them talking, but don't ask anything too personal. Listen to what they have to say. Cut the small talk and the standard sales pitch and instead answer with short, but informative answers. Once the person sees that you aren't high pressure and are a reliable source of information, you may find yourself closing a deal. References: - Even Carmichael: Serving - Getting a Handle on the Disinterested Client - Alen Majer: How to Handle the "I'm Not Interested" Objection - Selling Power: Is Your Customer an Extrovert, Introvert, Thinker, or Feeler? - Mind Tools: Body Language Photo Credit: coalybunny via Flickr.  


Rose K.

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