In a survey I conducted of more than 300 self-described introverts, over three-quarters of respondents said they could impersonate an extrovert somewhat well or very well when important business was at stake.
This means being able to make small talk, to interact in a sparkly, attractive way, to remain “on” in the presence of others for hours and hours, and more.
On the one hand, being able to perform in ways that go against one’s natural tendencies is a kind of flexibility that can come in handy to achieve significant business objectives.
On the other hand, with a radical shift in emphasis, such shape-shifting may be necessary very rarely.
I say “radical,” because what I’m talking about goes beyond withdrawing from situations that feel uncomfortable or threatening to an introvert. Rather, by finding a different starting point for marketing than what everyone else does or recommends and by getting grounded in what you do best, a whole different approach unfolds.
Introverts can thrive in business by developing a reputation that pulls in people and quietly persuades them to buy, rather than by aggressively seeking out prospects and convincing them to agree to your deal. Imagine a slow-cooked meal deliciously yet invisibly layered with flavors and spices that once discovered, makes people want to bring their friends to savor it as well. Gradually this kind of meal can rival the popularity of other eating options that have more obvious appeal.
Instead of approaching marketing with a checklist of someone else’s to-do’s, you can start from what you enjoy, what you do well and what others unquestionably appreciate about you. In my survey, the top two introvert strengths mentioned were creativity and resourcefulness. Also highlighted were good listening skills, trustworthiness, attention to detail, empathy, balance and curiosity.
Whatever your own strengths, people are out there looking for or hoping to find them in those they do business with. Introvert marketing succeeds best when you don’t pretend to be who you are not, when you spotlight what you take great pleasure in offering and when you relax knowing that the right people show up in appreciation of your value.
This takes faith and commitment, because if you do these things half-heartedly or while still clinging to society’s “oughts,” you may not come across as the shining star you can be.
People are more likely to appreciate you when you appreciate yourself. Are you ready to let go of the pretense and reach success on your own terms?
Copyright ?? 2010 Marcia Yudkin
— A bookworm as a child, Marcia Yudkin grew up to discover she had a surprising talent for creative marketing. She’s the author of more than a dozen books, including 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition, and Persuading People to Buy. She also mentors introverts so they discover their uniquely powerful branding and most comfortable marketing strategies. To learn more about the strengths and preferences of introverts, download her free Marketing for Introverts audio manifesto: http://www.yudkin.com/introverts.htm