Can an Introvert Sell Well? Real-Life Stories

I go into a cell phone store and approach a salesman. Actually, I jump up and down until one we’ll call Cell Phone Sam pays attention to me. Once he starts talking, I hear a combination of a late-night TV hair-replacement commercial, an auction at Sotheby’s, and Charlie Brown’s teacher, all in a blaring chorus of rebates and Anytime Minutes.

I butt in to ask Cell Phone Sam to explain my options for a service upgrade for my cell phone. I try taking notes, but I can’t keep up. I try asking questions, but his responses come in unlimited data speak—all as he helps three other customers.

Get Heard More. Even If You Talk Less.

I just wrote a manifesto(!) on Self-Promotion for Introverts® for ChangeThis, a new kind of media geared to “spread important ideas and change minds.” The folks at ChangeThis believe that “smart people will embrace being talked to with respect and will spread the word.” Every month they e-mail manifestos by diverse authors on diverse topics to their subscribers for free; the manifestos are also available at Here’s a glimpse of mine:

Self-Promotion for Introverts® — Media Roundup

I hope the following articles give you ideas and encouragement to help you advance in your career—in a way that’s authentic to you.

“Personal Branding Interview”
Personal Branding Blog
Popular blogger and personal branding expert Dan Schawbel interviews me about introverts’ advantages and disadvantages in the job search arena. I also pass along some advice for introverts that Bill Clinton and Warren Buffett shared with me.

Can an Introvert Sell Well?

What goes through your head when you think of selling? If you’re anything like me, you think: The spotlight is on you. Your every word counts, and you have to be “on.” Always be closing, right?

Sleepless nights, bad hair days, and personal dramas notwithstanding, you have to be out there, pushing yourself and your wares at every cocktail party and convention. You’re so in your customer’s face, she can inhale the jalapeño you had for lunch.

Workhorse or Show Horse?

Nobel Peace Prize winning theologian and physician Albert Schweitzer once said: “I wanted to be a doctor so that I might be able to work without having to talk.” Makes you wonder whether he was an introvert.

Schweitzer elaborated: “For years I had been giving of myself in words, and it was with joy that I had followed the calling of theological teacher and preacher. But this new form of activity,” he said, “would consist not in preaching the religion of love, but in practicing it. Medical knowledge would make it possible for me to carry out my intention in the best and most complete way, wherever the path of service might lead me.”

Introverts and Unemployment – Notes from the Trenches, Part 2

In my prior story I talked with an information technology (IT) manager who was downsized from a major media conglomerate a month ago. An introvert who tapped into his strong professional network for job leads and introductions, the IT manager, whom we called Adam Chan, already landed an appealing offer from a competing major media conglomerate.

Introverts and Unemployment – Notes from the Trenches, Part 1

With unemployment figures still lagging the much debated signs of economic recovery, six people are currently vying for each job opening, and employers’ hiring intentions are down to a 27-year low. Regardless, people are still finding jobs. However, the search process often takes more time and persistence than in any period in recent memory.