You'd expect that the best salespeople would be the most outgoing, people that love talking to others and are very good at it. According to Wharton Professor Adam Grant, that's actually not the case.
His recent research, featured in Scientific American, finds that "ambiverts," people that test as exactly halfway between being extremely extroverted and extremely introverted, are far and away the best in sales.
When Grant looked at their yearly revenue, ambiverts outsold extroverts by 32 percent and introverts by 24 percent.
From Melinda Moyer:
Grant—who is a self-described ambivert and a former salesman himself—says he is not sure why such individuals perform better, but it may be that “they're less likely to get distracted and to talk too much — they find the right balance between talking and listening.” In addition, extroverted salespeople may sometimes be too pushy and turn potential buyers off.
It's an insight anyone that's been turned off by an overly aggressive or familiar salesman will understand. Extremely extroverted people may make an impression and lots of friends, but we're more likely to buy from people that listen to and inform us.
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