Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you probably have an unthinking tendency to market to people the way you yourself prefer to be communicated with and treated. If your target audience resembles you, that approach succeeds. But if your target audience differs greatly from you, you’re shooting yourself in the foot when you do that. Worse, unless you’ve investigated or learned about the preferences of those with a different personality, you may not realize the extent of this disconnect.
For best results, you must market to people the way they prefer to be marketed to, not the way you prefer to market or be marketed to.
When you are selling to people who are reserved, quiet, comfortable with themselves, independent thinkers and not the life of the party – in other words, introverts – here are 10 important guidelines to keep in mind.
10 Ways to Sell Successfully to Introverts
- Third-party credibility boosters.Introverts tend to be less gullible than extroverts, because they’re less swayed by enthusiasm or the desire to follow the crowd. You want to win their respect, and they respect media coverage, awards, certifications, credentials and endorsements from industry leaders who are known as the most competent in their field. Any relatively objective indicator of excellence influences introverts to become more interested in what you offer.
- Confidentiality.Introverts treasure privacy, and they retreat when they see that you might not keep their patronage of you private. Coaches and consultants who illustrate their points with examples from clients raise this suspicion, even if the clients are identified only by a first name. Likewise, offering feedback as part of a package but only in public can make introverts hang back. Explicit reassurances about confidentiality can be crucial to earn the trust of introverts.
- Opportunity to ask questions before the sale. Because introverts are less likely to get swept along by the breathless enthusiasm of a sales pitch, they value the chance to contact the seller to clarify something that’s important to their decision-making process. Saying there will be an opportunity to get questions answered after the sale helps, also. If the question-asking occurs in private rather than in a group setting, all the better.
- No gratuitous videos.Don’t force a prospective buyer to sit through a video in order to access introductory information about your product. Introverts enjoy watching videos for entertainment or for demonstrating how to do something, but when you deliver information on video that that could easily have been conveyed in text, they’ll resent you for wasting their time. Forget about “talking head” videos for this group.
- No fluff or filler. Introverts hate hype. They also dislike it when people don’t get to the point. High-content communications with some promotion woven into it or appended at the end therefore go over best with introverts.
- Samples. Because introverts prefer substance to fluff, they’re more eager to buy when they’ve seen a sample that impresses them. So if you are selling a book, provide a free sample chapter; if you are selling a coaching program, make a sample session available, with the participant’s permission noted.
- No name dropping.Some marketers like to refer to colleagues as “my good friend (or buddy) so and so,” but if you do that too many times, introverts may lose respect for you. They’d rather have fewer, closer friends, and they’ll think you’re blowing hot air when you claim to have close relationships with a lot of people. In addition, the mere fact that you know someone important doesn’t raise your status even a millimeter with an introvert.
- Personal attention. Introverts prefer to interact one-on-one or in small groups. They don’t like crowds. So if you offer seminars, coaching, tours or workout facilities, do so on an intimate scale. You won’t catch introverts yearning to cruise on a thousand-passenger ship, enjoying stadium-sized lectures or belonging to a crowded, cavernous gym if they have another choice.
- Minimal pressure. If you sell overly aggressively and don’t give an introvert time and space to think through their decision, they’ll duck out and go elsewhere to buy. Deadlines are fine, but not ten minutes down the line.
- Practice what you preach. Introverts value consistency. They’re put off by a proofreading service that has a typo in its marketing copy, a purportedly “green” company that wastes paper or someone who says he’s not selling something yet proceeds to do exactly that. Make sure you embody the principles you espouse in the way you promote your offerings and the way you treat customers.
Above all, communicating in a calm, respectful, content-rich manner wins over introverts. Be prepared, be succinct, be substantive with them and you’ll be successful.
A bookworm as a child, Marcia Yudkin grew up to discover she had a surprising talent for creative marketing. She’s the author of 11 books, including 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition. To learn more about the strengths and preferences of introverts, download her free Marketing for Introverts audio manifesto:
http://www.yudkin. com/introverts. htm