Five Simple Tips for Introverts in Sales

As a CEO and founder of a company that mentors introverts, many people find it surprising that I only admitted to myself recently that I was an introvert. Which is crazy since I remember being in the 2nd grade absolutely horrified that the teacher might call on me and the entire class might stop and look at me all at once! I used to hide at lunch time in high school because I was too embarrassed to ask someone to sit with me. Because the truth is, I thought being an introvert meant that something was wrong with me.

Fast forward a few years and I somehow ended up with a job in corporate sales. I forced myself to attend conferences that drained me, pretended to be someone outgoing, attempted to make small talk and did all the things I thought I needed to do to be a high performer. But I finally got to a point where it was just too exhausting. But the incredible thing was that once I started being myself, I became every more successful.

When I started teaching others how to sell and grow their business revenue, I finally realized that I had adapted my introverted style to work for me. Not only was it not a flaw or something I needed to change, it was my greatest asset. It might be yours too. So I created five simple tips for my introvert friends about sales that I want to share with you.

  1. Be the REAL You

The key to confidence in sales is knowing and owning your sales style. Many people have a false perception that they must be pushy or “salesy” to sell. You don’t. You can be quiet, introverted, goofy. You don’t have to fake it, you just have to be you (in the way you are most comfortable)  

2. Make It Personal

Your story is what makes you unique and memorable. Talk about yourself and what makes you unique. Your hobbies, your family, your love of pickles, whatever. People remember the person not the product. And no one can question your expertise in yourself.

3. Don’t Quit Before You Get Started

50% of people I talk to say they are terrible at follow up.  Newsflash – the money is ALL in the follow up.  This is the single, easiest thing you can do to increase sales. The first time you ask if only the beginning.

Not everyone is ready to buy today. If someone tells you they are not ready or puts off the discussion, its ok. But you need to follow up. Tomorrow, next month, next year. 60% of sales are made after the fourth discussion yet 94% of people quit after the fourth call*. Those 6% are making a lot more money!!!

*From The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

4. Say Good-Bye to Guilt

Being confident in sales is about having the right mindset. If you feel guilty about asking someone for the sale you are already setting yourself up for failure. Instead, approach each discussion knowing that selling is serving and that you may have a “sacred contract” with the person you are talking to. You are sharing your special gift, your magic with someone. There are people who are as much in need of what you have as you are to share it.

5.  Show Up and Be Seen
Not publicizing our gifts can be especially hard for us as introverts. Your amazing business shouldn’t be your best kept secret. And no one can find you if you are hiding your awesomeness. Take a baby step: post your writing on Facebook, show a friend your art, just take a baby step to showing someone your work. You may be surprised at how great it feels & what amazing feedback you receive.

 

Want to find out more about how to sell using your introverted strengths? I created a free video workshop called, “Quiet Selling” which is available just for the month of March. You can check it out here: http://bit.ly/2kqMmnY

 

Warmly,

Christine

Why Introverts Make The Best Salespeople

I recently got a nasty message on Facebook that questioned how I could teach introverts how to sell.  “Introverts can’t sell, I don’t know what your background is but you obviously don’t know anything about selling”  This made me laugh since not only do I have pretty stellar sales experience but I am also an introvert.  And I am not unique.

I took some time to ask former colleagues who worked in full time sales roles.  Did they notice a difference between introverts and extroverts on their sales teams?  Many mentioned that their most successful long term sales people were indeed introverts.  Why?  Because introverts are great at building deep relationships.  They are great listeners, they can read a room, they notice the fine details, they are great observers.  All required skills for high level sales.

So why would this person be so shocked that I am talking about introverts and selling?  While I can never be certain, I think most of us have an outdated view of selling.  When people talk sales, the first picture that pops into their mind is a used car salesman who is pushy, aggressive and often sleazy.  Our society constantly reinforces this inaccurate picture in movies and advertising.  These people exist but I would never say they are successful in their jobs.  They may achieve short terms wins but how many people walk away saying they would never come back?  How many of their customers refer them to others?  How many repeat customers do they have?  I am guessing very few.  And I would make a solid bet they are not the highest long term performers.

The best salespeople I have ever worked with know that listening is more important than talking.  That building trust takes time and authenticity matters.  They know that different personalities have different needs and they learn what each person needs by observing them, their team and what they say (and don’t say).  Introverts notice the fine details and while extroverts are often great at making introductions, its introverts who are building the relationships behind the scenes.

The other misunderstanding is that many people misunderstand the word introvert.  Even introverts themselves!  Introversion is a scale just like many things and some of us are highly introverted, shy or even have social anxiety.  Other introverts may love some social situations but need time alone to recharge.  I personally didn’t admit I was an introvert for years because I was really trying to be what I thought everyone wanted.  I looked at my introversion as a character flaw I should change instead of something to embrace.  But that left me with low confidence and very exhausted.

The fact is, the skills required to excel at high level sales are the strengths of introverts.  The problem is that many introvert think there is only one way to sell.  So if they are brave enough to try it, they often get discouraged if they fail or find it too challenging.  But those that persist often develop their own style.  They have in person meetings instead of big social events for clients.  They build deep relationships with a few key people.  They observe and listen to determine next steps.  And the great thing about sales is that is a results driven profession.  The end result is what matters, not how you got there.

I usually don’t comment back to people on social media who make nasty comments.  But I honestly couldn’t help myself when I saw that comment and had to respond.  “My background is 15 years of high level media sales for Fortune 500 companies.  I have sold well over $100 million dollars.  And I was such a shy as a kid, I couldn’t even raise my hand in class.  I am a total introvert.  Whats the last thing you sold?”  It turns out, he was a brand new sales person at an electronics store with only a few months experience.

Want to find out more about how to sell using your introverted strengths?  I created a free video workshop called, “Quiet Selling” which is available just for the month of February.  You can check it out here:  http://bit.ly/2kqMmnY

~

Christine Pereira is the founder of SoulfulSelling.com and mentors introverts & entrepreneurs how to gain confidence to generate more income, create better relationships and still be true to themselves.

 

 

What if Everything Was This Easy!?

Did you know that Soulful Selling co-created an amazing coloring book?

This is the story of how and why that book was created.

Do you believe in miracles? I do, and the creation of this book is one of those miracles.

Three years ago, I worked in a corporate job with a small baby and a three-year old at home. I worked all day in a stressful sales job and then rushed home every night to spend a few precious moments with my family. I felt stressed, miserable under appreciated and overworked. I was failing at every part of my life. I knew I needed to get out of my situation, but I had no idea how. And even less of an idea of what to do once I got there.

Looking back, I realize that I was (and still am) on an amazing spiritual journey to reconnect with myself, my spirit and my true desires. Once I set this as my new intention, things began to unfold with ease.

The first thing I realized was that I was spending WAY too much time in my head – processing information, making logical decisions and then taking action. I was spending almost NO time in my heart – feeling, watching, listening and slowing down. As someone who prided myself as an action taker, it was hard at first to slow down and just listen to my body, my intuition or the sound of the wind blowing through the trees.

But once I did, it was wonderful! I found myself again and began to remembered my passions. I could see a wonderful new future in store as an entrepreneur.

Soulful Selling was founded in June 2015 on the day I was fired from my second job in 9 months. A pretty clear sign that it was energetically time to move on.

My mission was clear – to empower women to promote themselves and to teach them to sell without feeling guilt or shame or any negative energy whatsoever. As I started working with fellow entrepreneurs and small companies, it became clear often our fears of selling are signs of deeper issues.

Where we might lack self confidence, there is missing connection with our personal truth or undiscovered passions. And when we discover our truth and passions, we realize the root cause of the fear is not around sales, it is the fear of being You.

One of most powerful things I discovered about myself is that I am a genuine introvert and empath, which has given me
amazing insights into my own preferred style of doing business, and in sharing my story, it has also allowed me to connect and empower many like-minded souls around the world.

This Soulful Mandala Coloring Book came together magically with total ease. I believe you were meant to have it. And the simple act of coloring and doodling is a perfect way to get out of your head and into your heart. This was made for you. I hope you enjoy it. Rejoice that we live in a world where miracles are happening all around us.

 

Looking for inspiration? You can purchase copies of the coloring book here:

https://www.amazon.com/Doodle-Girl-Friends-Presents-Mandalas/dp/1539054276

Are You Exhausted By Pretending To Be An Extrovert?

Have you ever pretended to be an extrovert?

I have. More times than I can count.

For a long time, I didn’t even realize I was faking. I was just trying to be what I thought I “should” be.  More talkative, more outgoing, the life of the party.  Someone who could remember jokes and make  people laugh.

Because everywhere I looked, extroverts were succeeding.  In classrooms, at getting raises, promotions, even more dates! They were definitely not the most qualified.  They were the people who made sure they got noticed.  It seemed clear to me that the way to succeed was to be an outgoing extrovert. And I thought I was a pretty good actor.

So for years, I pretended to be one and it left me exhausted.  I did it for so long, I started to forget who I was and what made me happy.

Have you ever pretended to be someone you’re not?

Being a total fake really wears on you.  I felt really disconnected  to who I was which was pretty scary.  Do you think the only way to get ahead is to pretend  you are an extrovert?  

If so, I am guessing you are in one of two groups:

1-You believe you need to behave like an extrovert to  succeed but that is too painful for you. So you just don’t promote yourself.

2-You behave like an extrovert when needed and hope you can keep it up.

I’m so sorry to tell you this but neither of those is a good solution. 

No one is that good of an actor And if you continue to follow either one of those paths, its going to be really hard to make a sustainable change in your life or business.  I don’t know your situation and I won’t tell you there is one magical solution because everyone is different.

But I can tell you what worked for me. Once I slowed down and did some work on myself, I realized  I was an introvert.

But I had to do more than realize it, I had to accept and embrace it.

It was like coming home.
A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.
It made everything easier.

And looking back, it seems crazy that I put so much effort into doing things that just exhausted me even further.

I had figured out how adapt to things in my own way.

But I had to retrain myself.
Actually, de-program myself.

The biggest reward was that I was able to see my life more clearly And to make some big career changes that supported me and my natural temperament. So I created a job I loved and enjoyed! I no longer felt like a fake!

I had more energy for myself and my family And I began the process of accepting myself.

Warmly,
Christine

Is THIS Preventing You from Creating Miracles?

I talked to an amazing woman named Melinda a few weeks ago and she was kind enough to allow me to share her story.

She is a really beautiful soul. She is also a cancer survivor (although  she hates that term).  She helps others who are fighting cancer through photography and her art work.

When I spoke to her, it was clear that helping others that are going through what she did through art was her calling in life. She was so passionate about it and so excited.  I could feel her amazing  energy and the love she wanted to share but she told me something that I hear all the time.

She was worried about promoting her business because of  what other people might think of her.

This is a woman who is doing her soul’s work.  Someone that is truly a gift in this world and her biggest concern was what others might THINK about her??

It sounds crazy but I get it.
And I hear it all the time.

Men and women who have so much to contribute, who can create miracles But they are afraid of being judged!  They are afraid someone will think they are greedy or pushy Or that someone may think they are taking advantage of others Or that they will think they are less than perfect.

So here is my question for you?

Is your fear of judgement bigger than the opportunity to help others with your special gifts and create miracles?

Would you honestly deprive another person of a miracle just because it causes you a bit of discomfort?

I am hoping you are saying NO in your head right now.  If you’re not, you might want to unsubscribe right now because even though you may know that it does not make sense logically, that doesn’t make it easy to change. 

You can’t just flip a switch  and change yourself. It takes a lot of work and it means you really have to recognize the special gifts you have and honor them.  You have to step up to it and be ready to do the work.

But the good news is that YOU can do it.

And imagine what you could create if you felt comfortable sharing your gifts with others?

You could touch so many more people
You could make the money you deserve
You could spend more time doing what you love
You could change the world!!

Warmly,
Christine

Are You An Introvert With A Voice That Needs To Be Heard?

As introverts we often live in a world full of contradictions.

We may be shy but what we have to say is important. We may be quiet but we have a voice that needs to be heard. I remember being so frustrated as a child.  I was terrified to raise my hand in class or talk to anyone outside my immediate family.  It drove me crazy when I didn’t feel like I could raise my hand when I knew the answer.

I lived in a world where I wanted to connect with people but the idea of taking the risk to talk to them was really scary and ironically, that is what lead me to my passion for sales.

I can’t remember exactly how it happened.  It may have been a school fundraiser or selling Girl Scout cookies.  But I distinctly remember the sense of relief I felt when I had something specific to talk about with people that I wanted to connect with. So for me, selling was the magic ingredient to break me out of my shell.  To finally be brave enough to talk to people I didn’t know (or even people I DID know but was afraid to talk to.)

It took me over 15 years of practice selling to become brave enough to share my REAL voice.  The voice that comes from me, not the details about some product, service or fundraiser And that was a lot harder and a lot scarier.  Because when we start sharing our true selves we are exposing our beliefs, our values, the core of who we are.

What if people don’t like our true selves?
What if they laugh at us or shun us or call us names? 

Well sadly, that may happen. 

But guess what else will happen? 

You will get encouraging emails from friends and colleagues that you may not have spoken to in years. You will have people call you and message you sharing their incredible gratitude for your voice.  You will have people walk up to you and hug you and tell you they have the same feelings and desires that you have and they want to help you spread your magic.

YOU WILL FIND YOUR TRIBE.

You guys, this is as awesome as it gets.

I know because this is exactly what happened to me when I finally connected with my true voice.  When you really connect with your core beliefs and your inner wisdom- magic just starts to happen.  Anyone can do it and its so easy that it seems too good to be true.

And once you get to THAT spot, it doesn’t feel like selling at all.  It feels amazing, the way it feels to hug someone.  The way it feels to give a thoughtful gift to your best friend and you both feel grateful to have received each others gifts.

I want to share this with you.

You have a voice that needs to be heard.

Your voice is your truth.  Trust Yourself

With Love,
Christine

Is Your Head Arguing with Your Heart? Lessons from a Master Procrastinator

If I could be paid for my work and accomplishments as a procrastinator, I would be a gazillionaire.  In high school, everyone was assigned a term paper which took the entire semester to complete.  I started mine at 2 am the night before and finished the following afternoon to make it in school in time to turn it in.  And that is not even one of my most impressive stories!  I have procrastinated my whole life and in almost every situation.  At work, at home, with family, with laundry, with eating, with sleeping, you name it, I can delay it.

Over the years, I have thought about this a lot and read a lot about procrastinators.  I have read that we typically procrastinate because we are scared of the outcome.  I think that is pretty accurate in my case.  I procrastinate because I am afraid I may fail, I also procrastinate because I am afraid I may succeed.  Knowing this information does not seem to solve anything.

Recently I signed up for a contract assignment that I was very excited about.  It had good income potential, was something I had experience in,  it had all the signs of being a great opportunity.   But once I verbally committed to it, I couldn’t move forward.  I made baby steps but I just wasn’t all in.  I tried to convince myself all the logical reasons why I should do it but my heart kept saying no.  “What is going on heart?  This is such a great idea and opportunity, what are you holding me back?” It went on for weeks and then months.  That’s when I realized what a master of procrastination I am.

I had signed up for this task which I knew my heart was not aligned with so I could avoid another much biggest job.   The job that I was meant to do, the real work I want to do in the world.  And its scary.  So I picked a task that I could procrastinate so that I could procrastinate on something bigger.  Wow, that’s some masterful procrastination.

But I had a breakthrough today.  I finally realized what was going on and said no to the contract job that wasn’t aligned with my heart even though it seemed so logically right.  I turned down what could have been life changing income.  And I had to tell many people who were supporting me that I changed my mind.    It was embarrassing and I felt bad that I let people down.   But I left like a huge brick was lifted off my chest.  I felt such relief and happiness.  And feeling that release was a clear sign to me that I am on the right path.

When we find a calling, something we were meant to do it can be hard and emotional.  You might end up procrastinating because what if all your dreams actually can come true?  What if you can live the life you love and make a great living.  What if you can touch people’s lives and not work 12 hours a day?  What if all the things you dreamed of actually came true?

What could be possible in your life if you believed in miracles?

I learned some really useful lesson from this experience.   If something does not feel right, pay attention.  Even if it feels totally logical in your head, you need to get buy in from your head and your heart at the same time.  Your body is an amazing guide and will tell you when something is off.   If you can’t make a decision, imagine making it.  Notice how your body feels once you imagine making that decision.

Just because something does not work out, does not mean it didn’t happen for a reason.   In preparing for and thinking about this contract job, I remembered something that was really important to my heart.  It is so important, I want it to be a core focus in my business.   If it had not been for a random phone conversation related to this opportunity, I would have totally forgotten about it.  It was also a great reminder to listen to my heart.

Procrastinating because we are scared to fail is much different than procrastinating because we are scared we might succeed.  The things we are scared to succeed at are what our hearts really want and I have a pretty strong hunch that they are connected to our true calling.  And not all procrastination is bad, have you seen Abraham Hicks talk about procrastination?

Quitting can be very powerful.  I said no to this contract job.  I quit and some people could look at that as a failure.  I felt incredibly empowered and strong making the decision so it did not feel bad at all.  It felt the opposite.

The universe has its own timeline.  I’ll be honest, this kind of irritates me but I am willing to grudgingly accept this.  I have to wonder if I embraced this idea, what would happen?

So how about you?  Are you “All In” in your life and work?  Why or why not?  I would love to hear your stories.

 

 

The One Thing I Disagree with Yoda About..

“Do or Do Not.  There is no try” – Yoda

Lets agree from the start that it’s crazy that people including myself quote an imaginary creature from a fantasy/sci-fi movie.  But there is no denying that Yoda is a wise mentor who has great wisdom.  Being the parent of a six year old boy, I have at least a daily discussion about Star Wars.  But this one quote from Yoda just doesn’t work for me.

There is no try? I think most of us interpret this quote as saying, “Just do it, don’t overthink it”.  I’m sorry but I just am not buying into that one.  There have been too many times when I have not been able to do something and just doing it was not the answer.  And if it was, I would have given up a long time ago.  And if you think about it, many of the life altering, really big things we do require a lot of courage and preparation and often a few baby steps until we actually do them.

When a baby starts to walk, they don’t just walk.  They need to psychically develop the muscles necessary to walk.  Their brain has to develop enough to process everything and then the baby has to have enough courage to try.  Because walking doesn’t just happen.  If you ever see a baby walk for the first time its often a step first and then a fall.  Then maybe another step and a fall. And the actual walking does not happen until many days, weeks or months later.

I love Yoda’s bias towards action and I definitely consider myself a doer.  Do I overthink things?  Sure, but I know they don’t have to be perfect so I move ahead.  But often when making really big change, I need a baby step.  I need to test the waters to make sure its safe.  Then I take a slightly bigger step and a bigger one until I am there.  But getting to the baby step is sometimes really hard.  “Why can’t I do this?”  “What is holding me back?”  “What am I scared of?”  “Crap, I give up, this is too hard.”  There is a lot of internal dialogue because there is some inner conflict.

My head and my heart need to be aligned to move forward.

Starting my company was a perfect example of this.  I was discouraged and burnt out for years and knew I wanted to leave my job but was afraid to take the risk.  So I moved to a new job in the same field.  That job was a bit of a dud so I left and took some time off.  I had the money and the time to start my own company but I didn’t.    Then I took ANOTHER job.  I got fired.  Did I start the company?  Nope, I designed a really nice media center for my den and I ordered some nice window treatments.   I wasn’t ready.  Then I took ANOTHER job for 6 months.  I got laid off.  I was ready!!  But it took me over 2 years to get there.  I was trying but I couldn’t get there until my head and my heart were in the right place.

Everything happens exactly when it is supposed to happen.  As much as I tried to push myself in those times before I started my company, it didn’t work.  Something inside me wasn’t ready.  I spent a lot of time beating myself up about that.  But now I realize it all happened exactly the way it was supposed to.

And maybe if you really think about it, Yoda is saying that we need to push through the try.  Keep trying even if that trying means you are just thinking about it.  Don’t give up.  That doesn’t mean you have to push, maybe it just means you have to be patient and wait.

What do you think? Have you had a situation where your head and heart were not aligned?  How did you move forward?