Hiring professionals often wonder what type of people to hire or promote in the sales department. Hiring a wrong person can not only be costly for the organisation but also demotivating to some people. Well, knowing a bit of psychology may help.

In the early 1920s Carl Gustav Jung, the father of Analytical Psychology, who studied people’s personality made a distinction between introverts and extroverts. According to this broad classification, extroverts draw energy externally, and introverts extract it from within. Companies who capitalized on this theory have used concepts such as open-plan offices, recharge areas and “group work”. They cater for and increase the productivity of both personality types. Lying in between the two ends of the spectrum, extrovert and introvert, is a broad range of personality types. They are collectively called ambivert, a word coined by a psychologist named Hans Eysenck in 1947. Truth of the matter is that a vast majority of people are ambiverts who fall somewhere along this continuum. Ever since its introduction, this word has entered into the lexicon of the psychiatrists and psychologists and has gained immense popularity.

Ambiverts, the in-betweeners

An ambivert who falls smack in the middle make the most excellent salespeople. To that end, to an extent, all salespeople are ambiverts by nature. A true ambivert doesn’t incline too much in either direction. Because they are neither extrovert nor introvert, they can easily adjust their approach to different types of people depending on the circumstances, allowing them to connect most effectively. Perhaps the back-slapping salesperson in yonder years although appearing to be an extrovert may have truly been an ambivert and became successful by knowing when to lean toward which side of the personality spectrum. Superior salespeople who are serious about improving their performance consciously try to gain insights about their tendencies and preferences and match their approach to the situation.

Advantages of being ambiverts

The personality traits of those people on either end of the spectrum remain stable throughout their lives. Extroverts tend to stay extroverts with a domineering attitude and introverts are inclined to stay calm and hypersensitive for most of their lives. It is hard, if not impossible, to change their personality traits naturally. There are no absolute right or wrong personality types. But so-called born salespeople project a façade of extroversion when meeting with new clients and turn to being introverts in times of introspection. This temperament is what is known as ambiversion. It is this adaptive nature that stands in good stead with sales people.

Salespeople inherently being ambiverts have some professional advantages over extrovert or introvert types. Have a look at some of their behavioural patterns.

  • More balanced, or nuanced personalities and wear many hats at work
  • Move between being solitary at home or being social at work or vice versa
  • Loves the stimulation that comes from teamwork as equally as private work
  • Speak up and listen carefully with ease while working with people
  • Have a right balance of contrasting skills making them dynamic salespeople
  • Connect with a wider range of individuals because of their adaptability
  • Are flexible to adapt to any social situations and formal settings
  • Nimble making the right amount of hem efficient salespeople for prospecting new clients
  • Find it annoying to be an introvert for too long and hence love outdoor sales
  • Do get burnt out when stuck being an extrovert out of necessity
  • Don’t allow their emotional side to get too carried away and tend to hide it
  • Make robust salespeople who can handle rejection from clients with poise

Anyone can become a salesperson

A pure extrovert or introvert is in the minority, and a vast majority of people belong to the wider range of the spectrum, in other words, are ambiverts. That being the case almost anyone has the potential to work in sales. However, to excel in the sales career, it is important to understand one’s real personality and to assess which side of the spectrum the character traits lean. Such self-awareness can be beneficial. A good salesperson is someone who exhibits qualities of both extroversion and introversion. If one’s job is congruent with this temperament, it unleashes vast stores of energy and creates stellar sales performance. The ambiversion nature in a salesperson has enough introversion and the right amount of extroversion in them that they are comfortable in both the situations and find them both satisfying and rewarding.

Ambiverts are better at closing deals

For some reason, there is a belief that extroverts make good sales leaders. Adam Grant, the associate professor at Wharton School, has proved them wrong based on 35 separate studies. According to the studies, there was no statistical relationship between extroversion and income. In fact, ambiversion turned out to be the most proper attitude of high-performing salespeople. Interestingly A-achievers belong to this category too. Sales career requires professionals to be working with different kinds of clients under different circumstances. If a seller efficiently leverages the ambiversion temperament they can be assertive as well as empathetic enough, both at the same time in good measure, to persuade clients to close deals effectively without coming across as too pushy.

Are you an ambivert?

Many personality tests such as Jung typology, Myers-Briggs, Big 5, etc. can be utilized by hiring managers to gauge the personality of the shortlisted job candidates. Although each human being is complex more often there is a natural tendency for people to fall in one or the other types. Sales people who would like to obtain a good grasp of their selves to manage their interaction with potential clients better can also use these tests. It sure can lead to higher sales performance and brighter career prospects.

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