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It has been my experience that introverts have an innate advantage converting prospects, as compared to extroverts. I was curious to find out why – and what extroverts can do to overcome their disadvantage.
The nature of introverts
As an introvert myself, I found that adopting my process was not only natural, but it reduced my anxiety in situations that previously caused me stress.
When I’m engaged to speak to groups of advisors, I like to mingle at cocktail parties or similar events. Doing the formal presentation is fairly easy for me. Social interactions are not.
When I followed my own research and focused on eliciting information in social situations, rather than feeling the need to convey it, the process worked flawlessly. My relief was palpable and significant. The Solin Process℠ works as well in social situations as it does in business settings.
Benefits of introversion
The outgoing nature of extroverts contributes to the perception they are dynamic charismatic leaders. Introverts tend to be reserved and prefer their own company, where they can reflect and ponder.
In some respects, extroverts are like active management, brimming with activity. Introverts are more akin to passive management, buying, holding and focusing on fees, costs and tax deferral.
Some little-known benefits of being an introvert were set forth in this recent study. The study (discussed here) found those introverts prone to melancholy made more accurate social judgments than those who were more sociable. The co-author of the study theorized that these introverts spend more time observing than interacting, which might account for their superior perceptive skills.
Here’s another benefit of being an introvert. We like being alone. Our solitude permits us to be creative. Gregory Feist, associate professor of psychology in personality and adult development at San Jose State University, explained it this way, “Highly creative people in the arts and sciences need to reflect, to think, to create, which is typically done alone.”
Introverts also tend to be more self-aware and less impulsive. We are less inclined to regret our actions and more likely to empathize with how others might feel in a given set of circumstances.
Introverts and extroverts experience happiness differently. To an extrovert, being alone has strong negative connotations. In one study, participants preferred to administer mild electric shocks to themselves rather than spend six to 15 minutes “in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think.”
When I read that study, it was difficult to empathize with those feelings. I spend hours alone happily engaged in writing, thinking and analyzing. It’s among my most pleasurable activities.
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Given these differences, it’s not surprising that introverts find it easier to adopt the Solin Process℠ and integrate it into their meetings with prospects. We’re comfortable making the other person the center of attention. We don’t feel the need to be the most interesting person in the room. We prefer to be the most interested.
It takes more work for extroverts to change their usual approach to interacting with others.However, I’ve found that, when they understand the research and embrace it, they achieve results equivalent to those of their introverted colleagues. Because of their more enthusiastic demeanor, they often become advocates and encourage other advisors to adopt the same approach.
Dan Solin is a New York Times best-selling author of the Smartest series of books. His latest book is The Smartest Sales Book You'll Ever Read. His sales coaching practice includes helping advisors convert prospects into clients and generating leads through videos and other elements of marketing. Dan is not affiliated with any advisory firm.
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