INTROVERTS Are Better Sales People?!

Matthew Pollard is an internationally-recognized consultant, speaker, blogger, author, mentor, coach, and serial entrepreneur with five multi-million dollar business success stories under his belt, all before the age of 30.

On this episode of The Salesman Podcast Matthew shares why introverts, in today’s complex B2B sale might actually have an advantage over the stereotypical “silver-tongued” sales professional.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Matthew Pollard
Internationally-recognized consultant

Resources:

Transcript

Matthew Pollard:

Once I overcame it, I now enjoy sales. I actually try to assert that introverts actually have an advantage. So I think my driver was proving other people wrong, and I think that is the worst driver in the world, it's just the one that I had back then.

 

Do Introverts Make Better Salespeople? · [00:43] 

 

Will Barron:

Hello, sales nation. I'm Will Barron, host of The Salesman podcast. On today's show, we have Matthew Pollard. He is the author of The Introverts Edge, How the Quiet and Shy can Outsell Anyone, and introvertedness sales, business and winning is exactly what we're talking about in today's episode. You can find out more about Matthew or the book over at theintrovertsedge.com, where you can get free chapter and there's a video series there as well, waiting for you. With all that said, let's jump right in. Are introverts in the world of sales and business, are they at… This is the stereotype, are they at a disadvantage versus the charming, charismatic, silver tongued extroverted salesperson?

 

Matthew Pollard:

Absolutely not. I think you'll notice from my book, which I really appreciate you endorsing, that I actually try to assert that introverts actually have an advantage if they know how to achieve that advantage. If they don't, then they have a severe disadvantage.

 

The Definition of an Introvert From a Sales Perspective · [01:23] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay, so clearly we're going to dive into that. We want to dive into the step by step process of uncovering the advantages, how to leverage them, and I know there's a lot of introverts who listen to the show, who are going to take massive value from it, but I guess, let's define what an introvert is, because just probably quick record. I feel like I've got some introverted traits, some extroverted traits. I know, well, we'll ask you in a second how you consider yourself in that mix, but how do you define an introvert?

 

Matthew Pollard:

You know what's funny, is I keep getting surprised about the people that I find that are introverted. I think us, as introverts ourselves, we tend to project anytime somebody's successful on a podcast, or on stage, or in selling, or networking, they go, “That person must be an extrovert, because it's just natural to them.” And a lot of times it doesn't come naturally. Jaime Masters, who I would consider one of the best show hosts for podcast, she's got the Eventual Millionaire, she used to have this massive rash that used to show up on the side of her face when she used to interview people, so a lot of times, while we project that because people are successful in presenting, networking and sales, that they're extroverts, they're actually not.

 

“It's simple, there are introverts and there are extroverts, and it really comes down to where you draw your energy. It doesn't mean that as an introvert you can't speak in front of a stage, it doesn't mean you won't mingle with people, but it's where you want to go afterwards that makes a massive difference.” – Matthew Pollard · [02:34] 

 

Matthew Pollard:

What I define… There's a lot of studies that are out there around what makes an introvert, what makes an extrovert, and then you've got these whole new topics around situational extroverts and ambiverts. To me, it's simple, there are introverts and there are extroverts, and it really comes down to where you draw your energy. See, a good example is Jim Cathcart, great friend of mine, just wrote a wonderful review of my book in Top Sales World magazine. He spoke at Small Business Festival, a big conference that I run in Austin, Texas, just recently actually listed as the number three conference in America for small business. He was the closing keynote, but he'd been around the event all day, so would I.

 

Matthew Pollard:

At the end of the event, I wanted to go home into a dark room, switch on a TV and just chill out, do nothing else. He wanted to go down Rainy Street and experience the live music capital of the world. That's where the difference is, it doesn't mean that you can't speak from stage, it doesn't mean you won't mean mingle with people afterwards, but it's where you want to go afterwards. That makes the massive difference.

 

Will Barron:

Well, I think we can debate the live music capital of the world, me being from Liverpool, and we'll have that as a conversation when we wrap up recording here. But so, that's fascinating to me, and that's what I feel like. So today I've done four interviews for the show. It can be the same, whether I've got four major sales calls to sell ad space on the show, and recently a company tried to buy everything that we're doing and hire me and employ me on the… And it's the same thing every time, I can jump on that phone, I get motivated, get excited, I can have a great phone call, and then I need to just sit, as you described, in a dark room with a wet flannel my head and just relax for 10 minutes, or read a book, or watch YouTube, whatever it is. It's almost like I need a moment away from other people just to recharge.

 

The Difference and The Balance Between Introversion and Extroversion · [04:05] 

 

Will Barron:

So, it's one hand on this show, waving my arms around like a lunatic. I probably look slightly extrovert. Hopefully look charismatic and extroverted to a certain extent, but I totally feel this, and it goes from recording these shows, to getting on sales calls, to difficult conversations I have to have elsewhere, so I feel this as well. And how would you define yourself, Matthew? Would you consider yourself fully introverted?

 

Matthew Pollard:

Yeah, totally. So, just looking at my lifestyle outside when I do engagements like this, I speak from stage a lot, I sell a lot and I do interviews like this a lot, but that doesn't mean that's my typical method, it's what I know I need to do to be a successful business, and I have a great system for each one of these things, so quite frequently, when I speak from stage, when I network and when I do interviews, people are like, “Come on, you're not really an introvert.” That's not true, I just have a really good system and a really great process and some really great stories that I leverage that I've prepared before, but because I've done hundreds of them now, I actually have the opportunity to be able to do these things well, and they come across as extroverted behaviours.

 

Matthew Pollard:

But for myself, when I go home, I want to just relax. My fiance is a massive introvert, and I love that, because the last thing I want to do when I get home from one of these days, is have my fiance say, “Let's go out. I've organised all these times, we can go out to dinner.” That would drive me nuts, and coming in today to do this interview, normally I would get on my computer and I'd do a bunch of emails, this morning I was a little bit sluggish, I watched some YouTube videos, I had a late breakfast because I knew that I wanted to have my utmost energy for this, and then I've got a lunch plan afterwards where it's just me and the television, and I'm going to sit and watch it, then I've got an interview with the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, then I've got a break and then I'll get back to the busy work of my day.

 

Matthew Pollard:

But I have to make sure that I had these periods where it's just quiet time for me, where I can charge out my energy. Otherwise, I'll be doing this interview half exhausted, or doing a presentation with my arm on the desk, hoping that the audience would just go away. So we have to learn to manage our energy, but that doesn't mean that we can't deliver, if not as highly as the extroverts, if not more highly.

 

The Concept of Introversion: Features and Stereotypes · [06:24] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay, so I want to come onto managing energy. Any hacks tactics to, whether we need to look introverted and whether it's fake it till you make it, I want to come onto that in a second. But you said in here at the top of the show that I want to come back to, because if I don't, I'll totally forget it, and I can't read my own handwriting because it's terrible, so I'm going to, just off mind, I'm going to pitch it to you, Matthew. And that is, use the phrase… People say, “They must be an introvert.” And as you said that, and they project that onto others when they're on stage, whether it's super successful salesperson on the phone. Do people do this because it's an excuse, it's a process, it's a way of not taking on the challenge of having these extroverted traits yourself? It just seemed to me, as you said that, it was, “Oh, they can do it, but I can't.” Is that something that you find that's common with salespeople who are trying to perhaps pick up some of these traits?

 

Matthew Pollard:

Totally. I still do it. So, I was, I was out at a networking event, Jaime Masters and I are great friends. She lives local to Austin, and we went to the Wizard Academy for, I think you might know these people, the Eisenbergs, they just wrote a wonderful new bestselling book, and they've written a couple of New York Times best sellers, and we were at this event, and Jaime and I went together, and a lot of these people were new people for me, but she'd met them already. But we went into the event, and both of us went away separately and did our process. In the car on the way back, she says to me, she's like, “I'm really surprised, because a lot of people that cling to me around those events, because they want me to do all the introductions.”

 

Matthew Pollard:

And I said, “No, for me, I have to go solo, because otherwise I will cling.” And it's a horrible thing, so I make sure I go and do my own thing. I said, “But it's easy for you because you're an extrovert.” And she's like, “No, Matt, I'm an introvert.” It's something that I do myself. I see people that are presenting, Dan [inaudible 00:08:15], we were at the Selling Power 2.0 conference in Philadelphia, and I saw him, and he was charismatic, and I was like, “One day, I'm going to be that great from stage.” And then we got talking a while back, and I got introduced to him about being on my, The Introvert's Edge podcast. And I said, “Dan, I'd love to have you on. I think that you're an amazing presenter, but it's only for introverts.”

 

Matthew Pollard:

I only will interview introverts because otherwise, extroverts can't teach introverts, because they don't understand the problems that we face, just like extroverts will struggle to learn active listening from an introvert because it's one of our natural skills. And I said, “So I just, I can't have you on.” And he is like, “Matt, you know I'm an introvert, right?” And so it's something that I continually do, even though I've written a book saying that introverts can make great sales people. So I've learned now to never assume. I've learned to ask the question, and a lot of people, because this is relatively… Even though the research has been going for years, this is for the modern day population, this is something that we're really just starting to talk about.

 

Matthew Pollard:

I think we've had our hands full. I just recently interviewed one of the head researchers for Great Place to Work on my podcast, and they've had their hands full with making sure there's a quality in the workplace for women, and then people of different cultures. But really now, they even agree that the introverted world is really the next frontier for a great place to work for all. It's finally something that we're bringing attention to, and because of that, a lot of people don't even know that they're introverted or extroverted. And because of that, there's this massive hole in their ability to learn. But extroverts will go to the effort of learning things, introverts have this whole idea that they don't have the gift of the gab, so there's this wall that they just can't pass. And as soon as they realise that wall doesn't exist, they're just a few systems and processes away, well really, the world's open to them in a way they've not seen possible before.

 

The Science of Introverts Versus Extroverts · [10:17] 

 

Will Barron:

So for someone who's confused listening to this now, they don't know whether they are introverted, extroverted, you can fill me in. I know there's a term for having both of them or a mix of them. Is there a way… And I guess if there's data and research being done on this, is there a scientific way to uncover how introverted or extroverted an individual is?

 

Matthew Pollard:

Yeah, definitely. I'm not sure if you've heard of the quiet revolution, but there's a website for the quiet revolution. If you type it in, they've got a great little survey that you can fill out to find out whether you're an introvert or an extrovert. If you just type in Google “Am I an introvert or an extrovert?” That test is everywhere. You'll find it out pretty, pretty quickly. Myers Briggs is also… A lot of corporate get their organisations to… Staff to do Myers Briggs test, and that'll highlight it. There's another great website, which I absolutely love this survey. It's called 16personalities.com, and it will actually tell you whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, but it will also give you a lot of other detail that's based on Myers Briggs as well.

 

Matthew Pollard:

But for me, what I tend to find is when you do one of those tests, here's one of the hurdles for the test, it asks you, based on who you are right now, questions about whether or not you're an introvert or an extrovert. The problem with that is, just like you, you're not going to say, no I shy away from sales activities, I shy away from doing podcast interviews, because what happens, just like me, sales was a huge barrier, and we can talk about that in a second, for me, but once I overcame it, I now enjoy sales. It doesn't mean that after a day of sales, I'm not exhausted, but I enjoy it. So, if somebody asked me the question, do you enjoy sales? Do you enjoy networking? Do you enjoy presenting? I absolutely love it, which means I would come across closer to the extroverted scale.

 

“If you're around a group of people, are you charged up because of that, or are you drained and then need some time to yourself? That, to me, is the easiest qualifier between extroversion and introversion.” – Matthew Pollard · [12:30] 

 

Matthew Pollard:

So I think that, from a self-analysis perspective, think about you and who you are as a person, think about who you were earlier and who you are now. And just think about where you draw your energy. If you don't get it from doing sales activities, if you don't get it from being around a large group of friends, like an interview like this, one on one, that, for a lot of introverts, cannot actually affect them, for others, it affects them greatly. But if you're around a group of people, are you charged up because of that, or are you drained and then need some time to yourself? That's, to me, the easiest qualifier to make the biggest difference in your life.

 

How to Become Better at Sales and Actually Enjoy it as an Introvert · [13:05] 

 

Will Barron:

I like that definition because it's empowering for introverts. It's saying, you can do wherever you want. You can do what all these loud, arm waving, crazy dudes and women who are extroverted are doing, but you just got to be strategic about it, and that's why we want to come onto next, Matthew. I want to get into some real practical, even if there's competitive advantages that introverts have over extroverts in the selling environments. But as you said it then, how did you overcome, in your words, the barrier of not just winning in sales, but actively enjoying it? How did you overcome that barrier as an introvert, and is it a framing exercise, or is it just a process of being comfortable with it?

 

“The adversities in life seed the success of our futures.” – Matthew Pollard · [13:25] 

 

Matthew Pollard:

I think one of the things I'm known for saying is, the adversities in life seed the success of our futures. And the reason why I say that is because, for me, unless I experienced a huge adversity, I would've been quite happy to believe this myth that sales was just a skill that I just didn't have, but I was thrown into having no other option but to believe it was a process, and that really happened because I had a reading speed of a sixth grader in late high school, I was horribly introverted, I had really no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

 

“In business and in everything you do, if you don't know exactly why you're doing it, you are always going to struggle to succeed.”- Matthew Pollard · [14:12] 

 

Matthew Pollard:

And while I got into the top 20% of my state in high school, it really took every bit of energy I had. I was exhausted and my parents, and I knew that if I was going to go to university, I would've been a six month, maybe a year dropout, because I was just exhausted. Unless I knew exactly why I was doing it, which in truth, in business, in everything you do, if you don't know exactly why you're doing it, you are always going to struggle to succeed.

 

Matthew Pollard:

And I knew I was at that state. So, I convinced my family that I was going to take a year off to find myself, and what I did is, I took a job at a real estate agency, and while a lot of people would think that I was the guy out front, selling, I was actually the guy in the back office with this look on my face saying, “Don't talk to me, I'm here to find myself.” And after about, I think I'd been there for about three or four weeks, my boss comes up to me. He goes, “Matt, I got some bad news for you. The company's shutting down and you're out of a job.” I've been there three weeks, but very similar to… Sorry, very different to the way it is in the United States, and a lot of the time, in London, in Europe as well, we have our Summer and our Christmas at the same time, so we take this huge chunk of time off. Everybody goes away on the 20th of December and they don't come back to the 15th or 20th of January, so no one's hiring just before that. The only places that are happy to hire, of course, commission only sales, they don't care.

 

Matthew Pollard:

My manager used to have this saying, we throw mud up against the wall and see what stinks, which is a fun saying until you are the mud. So, I got this job in commission only sales, and after five days product training and not a single second of sales training, I got thrown on this street called Sydney Road, and this is a place where there's thousands of doors of retail stores on each side, and I went to walk into the first one, and then I had this solemn… No one had taught me how to sell. I didn't know what to say, so I took a breath and I walked into the first door, and I politely got told to leave, then I got told to get a real job, then I got sworn at.. People can be lovely to door to door sales people, especially at Christmas time, when they're trying to close down.

 

Matthew Pollard:

So I then, door after door, after door of rejection, I got to the 93rd door, and finally I made my first sale. So I've made about $70, and I remember I was ecstatic for about 45 seconds until, again, I had this realisation, I got to do this again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. For me, that wasn't okay, and while there are a huge number of books out there that could have helped me, it would've taken me a year to read those books, let alone to apply them.

 

Matthew Pollard:

I had a reading speed of a sixth grader, but what I did do, is I made the decision, because there was no way I was going to tell my father, who broke his back 80 hours a week to support us, that, “Sorry, sales was too hard.” I made the decision that sales needed to work for me, and for it to work, it had to be a systematic process, something that I could learn, that would get rid of the variability in the process, something where I could just learn the steps and it would be successful.

 

Matthew Pollard:

And what I did, is I actually learned… YouTube was just becoming… It was well before the days of things like podcasts and all the amazing audio books that are out right now, YouTube was really just becoming popular, and I learned to sell on YouTube. And over a period of, really, six weeks, I went from 72 doors to… Well, 93 doors to 72, to 48, to 20, to 12, to 7, to 3. To about six weeks later, my manager calls me in, he had this stunned look on his face. He just got the monthly report, and it turned out I was the number one sales performer in the largest sales and marketing company in the Southern hemisphere.

 

Matthew Pollard:

So for me, it came down to making the decision that it had to be a systematic process or my life that year was going to suck, and then really gravitating to YouTube to learn those strategies. I think where a lot of introverts get stuck, is they believe this myth, and maybe things aren't hard enough, or they believe it so much that maybe it's because all their friends and family are telling them as well that they can't do this, because it is something that everybody talks about, “You are not a natural sales person, you shouldn't do that.” That they don't try.

 

“An extrovert's ability to sell is hugely based on their mood. They're feeling great today, they're making great sales. But then they have a fight with their husband, their wife, their son, all of a sudden their sales plummet. For an introvert, because it's based on a system, the variability disappears. They just go and run the system, they run the programme and it delivers predictable results. So while an extrovert may out-sell an introvert from time to time, an introvert, over the space of weeks or months, will beat an extrovert hands down.” – Matthew Pollard · [18:16]

 

Matthew Pollard:

For me, as soon as I realised that it was a system, I realised we had an advantage, because an extrovert's ability to sell is hugely based on their mood, they're feeling great today, they're making great sales. That's why people say the best time to make a sale is after your last one, but then they have a fight with their husband, their wife, their son, all of a sudden their sales plummet. And sometimes, for weeks to months at a time. An introvert, because it's based on a system, the variability disappears, they just go and run the system, they run the programme and it delivers predictable results. So while an extrovert may out sell an introvert from time to time, an introvert, over the space of weeks or months, will beat an extrovert hands down, as long as you come past that milestone of, you have to have the gift of the gab. You absolutely can do this.

 

Will Barron:

I love this. So, you're covering a lot of ground here. I want to just touch you on myths, then we're going to go into your “why”, because you mentioned that, and then went straight into process, and we're going to wrap up with process and competitive advantages. But the myth element of this is fascinating to me, because I basically got talked into sales by everyone I knew, because I was told that I had the gift of the gab. Then, I was going to say ironically, but I guess it's not ironically, you could have probably recorded this and done data on it. I've got two brothers. My middle brother is a pharmacist and he is quote/unquote introvert. He will come in from a hard day's work in the pharmacy and he'll sit and read a book, out the way, and just sit and recharge.

 

Will Barron:

We've known this since he was a kid, and when he was a kid, I was apparently a proper rip, I was running around, I was causing trouble, I was a pain in the ass. We called him the blob, because he would just sit there, be no trouble, really nice kid to be around, and just, even babysitters, my aunties would look after him, he was known as essentially just sit there, he would smile and he's have nice little time. And I'm always intrigued as to whether, because I was the first child, I was treated differently to the second child, and there's the cliches of, I would get all the new stuff, I'd be over-cared for, over-looked after. Then, once you've been through the first child, the second one gets all the hand me downs, and then the third one gets all new stuff again because the second one's already broken all the stuff.

 

Will Barron:

And it's fascinating to me, the myths, the stories that you're told as you're growing up of, “Oh, he's the quiet one.” So is that pushing you? Is it clearly nature versus nurture? I don't know if there's a gene for introvertedness that probably seem… There's a gene for most things, so maybe there's something to that, but it is always interesting to me, and I always assumed Phil was, even though he's a pharmacist, even though I knew he'd be chatting with patients every day, I've never really seen him in that environment. At the Sales Innovation Expo last year, I brought him down to help out with some of the camera work, as we did live interviews there, and he was chatting to everyone, and he was amazing, and I've never seen him in that environment, as an adult, anyway.

 

Will Barron:

He was going around chat to people, people would come in and trying to get interviews with me and chat with me, and he essentially fended them off, and I've never seen him like that. But again, at the end of the day, he turned it off and he wanted to just sit in his hotel room and just chill on his own, whereas I was going out, drinking and partying with people from the expo, and that was a fascinating switch that I saw.

 

Mathew’s ‘Why’ For Creating a Sales System For His Introverted Personality · [21:20] 

 

Will Barron:

So that myth elements just align with me then, because I'm sure there's a bunch of middle children listening to this, who… Or just children that they were told when they were young, they were quiet, and so they probably lived some of that life, that hopefully that is eye opening for them, that they can turn this on and off. And it's perhaps effort that allows them to do it, as opposed to any magical moment where your mom or dad tells you otherwise, that you weren't quiet as a child, or anything like that.

 

Will Barron:

The other thing is, the “why”. Other than kind of being skint and broke, and going back to your dad and saying, “Oh, I didn't achieve it.” What was your “why”, or was that your “why” for pushing the barriers out the way and breaking through and making that effort? What was your “why” for breaking past this point of, “I'm an introvert, I can't do it.” To, “Oh, I'll give it a shot.”

 

Matthew Pollard:

Yeah, definitely. So first, let's cover the first element. So you talked about your brother, really quite quiet in the early years, and then later on. What actually probably has happened… So there are studies that talk about different levels of sensitivity, so there's linkages between introversion and sensitivity, and what the research talks about is the fact that the more sensitive we are, the more introverted we could possibly be. So it could be that your brother was just more sensitive to outside stimulus. It's why it exhausts us, but it's also why we're more in tuned to people. It's why introverts are perceived to have more empathy for people, it's because we're more sensitive to our exterior environment, and which means that we need very little stimulus to stimulate us highly, which is why introverts can tend to be in our head so-

 

Matthew Pollard:

For me, the “why” is so vitally important, because originally, my “why” was, I wanted to support myself. I was the guy in school that, I had horrible acne. I'll send you a photo and you can put this up as a 30 second slide on your video if you'd like, but I'd prefer 10, just get it on and get it off. I use it in my presentations, and I'm like, “I'm going to put that up. I'm going to change it straight away.” But it was a photo at my sister's wedding, and as a brother, you want to put your best foot forward, you know that's going to be on her mantle forever.

 

Matthew Pollard:

And I had this red face, horrible acne. I was uncomfortable, but I also had a reading speed issue, I got diagnosed with what's called Irlen Syndrome, I had these big blue… Grey glasses. I was uncomfortable at everything, and I think my “why” was to prove that I was actually a smart kid, and that I wasn't a wasted space, because a lot of people at school were telling me I was never going to amount to anything, and the whole leaving, not going straight to university, was a proof of that.

 

“My driver was proving other people wrong, and I think that is the worst driver in the world, it's just the one that I had back then. One of the things that I find when people talk about their drivers, is that people have this external need to prove that they’re worthwhile. Like when people start their own business, the first thing is about proving that they're not crazy.” – Matthew Pollard · [24:10] 

 

Matthew Pollard:

So I think my driver was proving other people wrong, and I think that is the worst driver in the world, it's just the one that I had back then. So one of the things that I find when people talk about their drivers, is that people have this external, I'm going to prove that I'm worthwhile. Like when people start their own business, the first thing is about proving that they're not crazy.

 

Matthew Pollard:

Well, no, it's supposed to be an internal motivation, so, when we talk about the “whys”, here's the thing that I experience, people tend to inherit their goals from their mother, their father, their drunk roommate they had in university. We hear these goals and we're like, “Yes, that's what I want too.” And we spend the rest of our lives trying to obtain this, and we never really think it through. So a lot of times we get this lack lustre amount of energy towards obtaining it, or sometimes worse, we actually throw all of our energy at it, we hit it, and we're like, “Why did I even bother?” So I think the “why” or the driver is important.

 

Matthew Pollard:

I've been responsible for five multimillion dollar success stories, but at the peak of every one of those, I never said that I was happy. One of the biggest drivers for me was realising how important that “why” was. And I've learned, one of the things I've got a reputation for is being the rapid growth guy. I can create rapid growth out of any business, but there's nothing worse than having a rapid growth business with customers you can't stand, or doing something you don't enjoy doing. So for me, one of the things that I talk about, and while the book has got some great content in learning the sales process, what I've actually created is this entire video programme that goes off the back end of this, that actually gives people tasks to do, which is an implementation training, and the very first thing that we cover is writing three business goals, three career goals, or personal goal… Sorry, three business or career goals and three personal goals.

 

“Your “why” has to be strong enough to deal with the amount of work that you have to do to overcome these barriers.” – Matthew Pollard · [26:44] 

 

Matthew Pollard:

One very personal to yourself, and it's selfish to yourself, because that's what's going to drive you. And then more importantly, that's really a means to an end. It's about writing why each one of those goals is important to you in 250 words or less. And the reason why I get people to do that, is what I find, is especially high achievers, and a lot of sales people can be that way, is they'll write their goals really quickly and they go to write why they're important to them, and all of a sudden they realise they're struggling to come up with reasons, and they've discovered that the “whys” that they're not important to them, it's just something that they've inherited. And especially for a lot of introverts, the “why” has to be strong enough to deal with the amount of work that you have to do to overcome this barrier.

 

Matthew Pollard:

One of the things that I look at, is my ability to sell now, is by far better than most people that I run into, and I put no work into it and deliver better results than everyone, because I had to climb Mount Everest first, but now I'm always on the downhill slow, so I'm always doing so much better than most. For an introvert, your why has to be so strong to push yourself up there, to be willing to write down your stories, to script the process, to not sound like a robot once you've scripted it, so that you read it like an actor, you embrace it, so that you can deliver a script, a story, a great questioning process off the cuff, so it seems natural. It takes a lot of work at the beginning, and your “why” has to be strong enough, but then after you've done that work, wow, you get to earn the income that most people wish they could earn for a lifetime because you've done that work at the start, and that's why the “why” is absolutely vital.

 

Matthew Pollard:

And while I cover it in the mentor programme, as part of the book, you can also go… I've got a podcast called Better Business Coach, and episode 17 is called, Forget About Goals, Why is the Key to Success. If you do that, especially as an introvert, I think you'll find that your focus will just shift, and the energy… I call it almost tapping into your superpower. The energy you'll have to push through these barriers, they'll seem like nothing, where, at the moment, they feel like these massively high walls.

 

Will Barron:

I'm nodding as you go along here Matthew, like a bobblehead that's just been flicked ridiculously, because, so three things, as I'm going through this. One, Helen Irlen, I've actually interviewed her. I don't suffer from Irlen Syndrome, but I know people who do, and I'll link it in the show notes. If you have trouble reading, if you feel like other people around you read faster than what you can, it's well worth investigating, and a simple piece of coloured plastic over the book, over the content, over your screen can make a huge difference to your ability to just see information on a screen and absorb it, and I know it's made a big difference to a couple of people in my life, so I'll link to that. So that's one thing.

 

Will Barron:

Two, I had terrible acne. I was on Roaccutane as a kid, I feel the pain, mate. I feel the stories that you're telling there.

 

Will Barron:

And then, the third thing is, this is a realisation I've had quite recently. So I've got this Nissan GTR on the table. It's a regular story of the podcast, that I could probably buy one right now. It'd be the most ridiculous financial decision I could possibly make with the cash flow, and the fact that I'm trying to investing everything back into the business and grow it, but it's going to happen at some point, it's going to be a story in itself, of that is the moment that everything's come together, aligned, and I can afford to waste 80 grand on a ridiculous car, that it's just a total stupid financial decision.

 

Will Barron:

But this was a big driver for me until the past few weeks, and I did the exercise, which is what you're describing there, inadvertently, of, “I want a GTR, I'm going to work my off, I'm going to put out all this content, I'm going to really help sales people, I'm going to build a real community.” Which is what we've done with Sales Nation, everyone listening to this, and then I ask the question, “Why?” And the reason, other than it looks cool, it will make me feel like a better person than just driving around with a Nissan Micra. I'd become really deflated by it, and it was unfortunate, because it was really motivating for a period of time, then immediately was unmotivating and wasn't the focus of mine.

 

Will Barron:

And then I shifted the whole, everything that we're doing with The Salesman podcast, and people who haven't been on the website in a while, if you go to salesman.org, you'll start to see this, I've shifted everything to, sales is essentially a skill I truly believe is really important for not just business professionals to have, it's important for everyone to have, just in life in general.

 

Will Barron:

So we're building the website out now, and the content start to align with it, and this show is perfect for that, of everyone should have the knowledge to sell. And so, that's what the goal is now, just to build a totally free resource, no courses, no products, we're going to offer coaching on the side of it, for anyone who wants to up the game and do it quicker. But if you could study, you can be able to go on the website and just absorb the information, put into practise, and anyone can learn to sell. Books are great, online videos are great, but this is just going to be one set process of how I and the team here believe that B2B sales should be done in 2018 as we record this.

 

Will Barron:

And that then is way more motivating than a GTR, and it's, I don't know whether this is intrinsic, extrinsic, I don't know if it's a selfish thing of, I want to be able to go places, and people go, “Well done.” And give me a pat on the back because they had success. I don't know whether that's an element of it. I'm not sure what it is, but it was inspiring to hear you talk about people's “whys”, and then the “why” behind the “why”, which is the real reason, because this is something I've gone through recently.

 

Introverts Versus Extroverts in Sales · [31:39] 

 

Will Barron:

Anyway, all that aside for one second. So, I want to wrap the show up here, Matthew, with some real practical advice. So I want to cherry pick a few things here. What do introverts have a competitive advantage over extroverts? What's the one or two things? You mentioned active listening, you mentioned empathy. So what are the one or two biggest bang for buck competitive advantages that introverts have over extroverts? And then I want to dive into how we can leverage these practically, and how the audience could leverage them to kick the competition's ass.

 

Matthew Pollard:

Yeah, sure. So I think you covered the two major ones, which is active listen and empathy. But the other one, which is huge, is introverts love to prepare. Extroverts like to run off the cuff and just do things as it happens. Introverts love to say, “Well, hang on a second, let's let's think about this. I'm about to go into this meeting…” That I think with sales and networking, the problem they have, is they don't know that they can prepare, and I think, armed with the knowledge that they can, every introvert that I've ever worked with happily prepares.

 

Matthew Pollard:

What's funny, is I've actually taught these skills from the book to extroverts, and I'm talking hammering down coffee, fists on the table, yelling at the phone kind of sales people, and the system works just as well. I've had to break them down and say, “Mate, this is a horrible way to live. I know you can do this, but why would you when you can do it this way?” But what happens, is they keep wanting to go back to their extroverted personality, while an introvert, when they get a system, holds onto it for dear life, because that is they're saving grace.

 

Matthew Pollard:

So here's the thing, as an introvert, we have higher empathy, which means… And we listen better. So when we ask great questions, and in the book, I talk about the fact that we need to ask great questions, and not just any questions, but strategic questions that lead to our specific product. That is highly important, but then we listen to the answers, which is so important, as opposed to an extrovert, that a lot of times, is thinking about what to say next.

 

Matthew Pollard:

So we empathise, we listen, we internalise, but then here's the problem that introverts has, we internalise so much, we're so much in our head, where we're quiet during that time, and the customers then divulge their heart, and we've really taken it on, and we take too long to respond. And then we start getting into the nitty gritty details about how to fix their problem, and the customer's like, “Oh my God, that's so much effort.” And we lose the sale.

 

Matthew Pollard:

Because of our ability to prepare, introverts can actually prepare stories, and this is huge. See, an introvert armed with a story can become a great storyteller. Now, if introverts out there think they're not great at stories, think about the story about how you met your husband or wife. When you first told that story, it was probably bulky, there were parts that were boring, that people glazed over, there were parts that were exciting, and over time, you've learned to remove the boring parts and embellish a little bit more on the things that are exciting to the point, now it's probably a theatrical masterpiece when anyone asks you 10 years later.

 

Matthew Pollard:

So we get great at telling stories if we're practised at them, so why would sales be any different? So what I always suggest for introverts, is that our ability to tell stories is sensational, because we can empathise, we can get into the nitty gritty detail, but it also keeps us above the real deep detail that gets us bogged down. Stories also have a couple of other real key factors. One is, for an introvert especially, it creates a natural resonance between the teller and the listener. This is a study out of Princeton. So it creates this artificial rapport, so when I get on stage, I've got a speaking event coming up shortly, where I'm speaking at Microsoft, inspire 18,000 people, and I know, as an introvert, if I try and say something off the cuff, that's funny, that ain't going to work out so well. So what I do is I have this practise, “Wow, what a wonderful introduction. Thank you so much for such a great introduction, how will I live up to it? I know I'll tell you about Wendy.”

 

Matthew Pollard:

And I start telling a story. Now, as soon as I start telling that story, I know I'm creating that artificial rapport. This just goes back to the middle ages, when people would waltz into town and share stories.

 

“It's proven that people remember 22 times more information when embedded into a story.” – Matthew Pollard · [36:00]

 

Matthew Pollard:

There's a couple of other factors with stories. The next one is, it's proven that people remember 22 times more information when embedded into a story. Here's the advantage there, I know if a load of sales people go in, let's imagine I'm one of 10, and those other 10 people go in and sell the sizzle, not the steak, they go in and relate the features of the product to the benefit, and they tell a customer, which salespeople are great at doing, especially extroverts, they're great at telling, and I know I just go in and tell a well articulated story of a customer, just like them, that had a similar problem, the implementation that we had and the outcome, both from a savings of money or a ROI, a saving of opportunity cost and a saving of stress, I know that customers going to listen to that and they're going to internalise a lot more of it and remember a lot more of the detail.

 

Matthew Pollard:

Now that means, if I go up against 10 sales people, if I say the same amount of information that they did, embedded in this story, they're likely to remember more of what I told them than the other nine people. Also, they're more likely to remember the order. Everybody knows… If I was to tell you, Will, to remember beds, porridge and chairs, and I'm I say, “Come back a year from now, tell me what those items are.” No way you're going to remember them, but if I asked you to tell me the story of the childhood story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, not only would you tell me that she ate some porridge, she broke some chairs and she slept in a bed, you'd be able to tell me the order that had happened, so people just remember this stuff.

 

Matthew Pollard:

And then there's one last key, and this is huge. What happens when an extrovert or an introvert tells somebody how they think they can help someone? The logical mind listens. And what it does, is it's not only thinking, “Do I have time for this?” It's also, especially in cold calling, it also thinks, “Does that apply to me? Would that work for me?” The logical mind is swatting things away as fast as you're giving it to them. When you tell it as a story, it actually short circuits the logical mind.

 

Matthew Pollard:

There's a lot of studies to talk about the fact that we had three minds, our survival mind, our emotional mind, and our logical mind. The survival mind's what kicks in when we see a bear and we run away, emotional mind kicks in the next day, when it bursts out crying, and our logical mind is what kicks in about a week later, when it's looking at the situation going, I could have kicked that bear's ass.

 

Matthew Pollard:

So, this is what happens when we tell a story, what it does, is it actually short circuits, the logical mind, and you're speaking directly to the emotional mind. The emotional mind has no idea how to tell the difference between fact and fiction, and you can't disagree with this person's story, because it's a story of a real customer. All it does is listen to the story and interpret the moral of that story, and decide whether or not that moral of the story applies to them. So if it's somebody that's given you an objection, and you say, and this is what's called an objection handling cushion, I perfectly understand the last thing I want to do is waste any of your time, however… Don't say the word, “but” that's a subtraction term, and it basically means disregard everything I said, now I'm going to tell you what I really think. Don't believe me? Go and tell your wife, you look perfect, beautiful in that dressed dear, but… And see how that goes.

 

Matthew Pollard:

Use the word “however” is an additional term. “However, I actually had a customer just like you about a year ago that had a similar objection. Here's what we did, here was the outcome, and now they're so happy that they worked with us.” The moral of the story is not that I'm disagreeing with them, I'm telling them a story of someone else, so they go, “Oh, okay. I see how that applies to me. Continue on.”

 

Matthew Pollard:

And the other real cool factor is, while somebody with a logical mind would probably listen to something for eight seconds before going, “Yeah, yeah, that doesn't apply for me.” We've clocked it at two and a half minutes with high level, C level executives, when middle managers will hang up at eight seconds, they just listen to the entire story until it finishes, resonate with the moral and continue on. So for introverts, their ability to prepare means they can create, not these long ridiculous stories, but these concise, well articulated stories in advance, and then just look for opportunities to leverage those stories throughout the conversation.

 

The Difference Between Selling to an Introvert Versus Selling to an Extrovert · [40:20] 

 

Will Barron:

Love it. I love it. I think you used it, anecdotally, preparation in advance of meetings, in advance of calls, in advance of… You keep speaking right at the top of the show, so I'm glad you brought it back around to that. And I've got one final question on this. Give me a yes/no answer because it's another four hour conversation, I'm sure. Is there a different process to selling to an introvert versus selling to an extrovert?

 

“If you have a variable process, a lot of times it leads to a variable outcome.” – Matthew Pollard · [40:39] 

 

Matthew Pollard:

In truth, there shouldn't be. However, what happens is, if you have a variable process, a lot of times it leads to a variable outcome, so in that choice, if you don't have a sales system, yes, there is a different process. However, there's a study out of the BNI groups. The skill sets that are the most appreciated in sales are actually from both extroverts and introverts. So the answer is, no there isn't. However, because of the way most people are doing it, absolutely

 

Parting Thoughts · [41:09] 

 

Will Barron:

Interesting. I was not expecting that, so thank you for that, Matthew. With that, mate, we've touched on the book, but tell us where we can find a free chapter, and then, the video content that comes along with it as well.

 

Matthew Pollard:

Yeah, definitely. So the free chapter, you can download at theintrovertsedge.com, and for me, while a lot of free chapters have a load of fluff in it, trying to excite you about the book, for me, I'm really on a mission to make introverts believe that they don't have to have this gift of the gab. So that's why I founded National Introverts Week here in America, to try and bring attention to that. So for me, the first chapter is no different. It includes the full seven step process, and if you do nothing more than download the chapter, read it, grab those seven steps, look at what you're currently saying to a customer, put it into those steps, if it doesn't fit, throw it out, don't try and figure out how to fit, what you say in.

 

Matthew Pollard:

See that there'll be some gaps. One of the biggest gaps will be questioning in stories, fill those gaps in and then apply that, learn it, embrace it and use it with customers. You'll double your sales in the next 60 days, and you don't need to buy the book for that, just go to theintrovertsedge.com and download the first chapter.

 

Matthew Pollard:

The implementation training is really more, for me, is I didn't want to not hold your hands through the entire journey. I know that the reason why the book is written like a novel and has all these stories in it, is so it's entertaining, because as an introvert, I get that it's confronting to try and learn how to sell, so I wanted it to be enjoyable. And the implementation training is for the same reason. I want people, when people purchase the book, they can click on theintrovertsedge.com/insidecircle, and they'll actually be able to join an online training that'll actually teach them how to implement it into their own business or their own career, and there's also a Facebook group, where if they've got questions, they can ask me directly.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, I'll link to all that in show notes this episode, including Irlen Syndrome and everything else that we've talked about. We've covered a lot of ground in this one, mate. I'll link to it all over at salesman.org. And with that, Matthew, thanks for your time, mate. Thank you for, because this is, and take this for me, a very unique perspective on the B2B sales world, so I appreciate what you're doing. And yeah, I'll love you and leave you, and let you go and have a chill, relax, recuperate before your next call, mate. Thanks for joining us on the show.

 

Matthew Pollard:

Absolutely appreciate it, Will, thanks for having me on.

 

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