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Can introverts make great car salespeople?

Introverts possess characteristics that could significantly benefit the dealership, especially when more leads come in online than from traditional walk-in traffic. 

The idea of an outgoing individual willing to be bold, energetic, and almost a little pushy is what most consumers expect when interacting with a car salesperson. Extroverted personalities tend to recharge when they’re around people, and they converse easily and can navigate social situations easily. But in general society, roughly half are extroverts while the others tend to lean more toward introversion. 

But the thought that sales positions are suited for outgoing personalities primarily has been challenged. In reality, introverts possess characteristics that could significantly benefit the dealership, especially when more leads come in online than from traditional walk-in traffic. 

What introversion looks like

Generally, introverts appear quieter and more reserved. You’ll find that they listen more than they speak, do very well in one-on-one situations, and commonly think before moving to action. Although their social network tends to be smaller, they develop deeper connections with their relationships. 

With these characteristics, you can see how this type of individual can become a superstar salesperson. Here are more specific reasons to choose introverts for your sales team.

Jeremy MinerMore: What behavioral science can teach retail professionals about sales — Jeremy Miner | 7th Level

Connects well one-on-one

In a market where customers buy vehicles at or above MSRP, a vehicle sale is less about the price and product than about where the deal is happening. Obviously, the salesperson plays a pivotal role in the shopping experience.

Personalities that lean more toward introversion do well at finding common ground with the shopper. That begins with an excellent profile and needs assessment, and they are continuously aware of how the shopper is responding with body language and verbal cues. You’ll likely find that an introvert will score higher with SSI. 

Ability to understand a shopper’s needs

Extroverts take charge, which is excellent when leading a shopper through the buying journey is necessary. But a higher percentage of car shoppers know the vehicle they want, down to the color and trim level, and they don’t need to be sold on a car. They want someone to hear their objections first, then help find solutions. Those objections could be the affordability or terms, vehicle availability, vehicle condition if it’s a used car, or other factors. 

Introverts observe and listen more intently and are happy to let the client ‘lead’ the conversation, helping the salesperson to understand their needs better and find solutions. 

Follows the rules more closely

Sales managers can usually identify a current or previous salesperson that is “coloring outside the lines” consistently. Padding a deal without management approval and making promises without guarantees is line-crossing behavior. While certainly not all extroverts engage in line-crossing behavior, it’s far less common with introverted individuals. 

A characteristic of introversion is thinking before acting and that often translates into being a rule-follower and team player. They need to be monitored, however, to avoid inaction.

Can focus on individual work tasks

As digital retail increases in popularity, more sales work is performed alone at a computer with less face-to-face time among customers. Extroverts tend to get distracted easily and need to be around people, and the desk-style sales steps might seem a little mundane. 

This is another area where introverts thrive. With the tools they need and the training provided, there’s a higher likelihood they’ll flourish now in sales than just a few years ago. 

A dealership needs a diverse mix of people, and there are wonderful people with extroverted and introverted personalities. When hiring for sales positions, don’t immediately discount those who don’t seem as outgoing or warm initially. They could become some of your top-performing salespeople.

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Jason Unrau
Jason Unrau
Jason Unrau is an automotive specialist with more than 15 years of experience at the dealership level. Focusing mainly on fixed operations and the service industry, Jason’s expertise is in enhancing the customer experience and promoting a healthy, profitable service department.

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