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5 Ways That Adaptability Will Bring You Greater Success

Though it might seem like extroverts would be better equipped for the world of sales, there is a different personality type known for their ability to adapt— and they’re more successful for it.

There is a misconception when it comes to the personalities of great salespeople. Traditionally, people assume that wildly successful salespeople are extroverts. This is depicted in movies, TV Shows, and media in general.

Think “Wall Street” or “Glengarry Glen Ross” or “Boiler Room”. However, research has shown that the best salespeople are actually ambiverts— those who can flex and have the ability to adapt to situations. These people typically make more money, have deeper pipelines, and enjoy greater success.

Being More Adaptable Leads to Being More Successful

Adam Grant of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study that determined how much each salesperson’s personality makes per hour. The ambivert made the most money compared to salespeople who were more extroverted. The ambivert was more successful because they were adaptable.

They realize that working with different people often requires a different approach for each situation. Extroverts are often overly assertive, ignoring the needs and interests of the people they are selling to. Ambiverts, on the other hand, will pause and exhibit a natural balance with their discussions.

Ambiverts are also more inclined to place an emphasis on listening rather than “pitching”. This angle of approach tends to pull the prospect closer to the salesperson.

Here are five ways to increase your win probability by becoming more adaptable:

Virtual is here to stay.

This may seem like a slap of the obvious, but the sooner you adopt virtual selling techniques into your everyday cadence, the sooner you will see greater returns with your activity. This is one way that your ability to adapt to a new selling environment will set you apart. Superstar salespeople have blended virtual selling techniques across every step of their sales processes.

This is allowing them to qualify faster, conduct more meetings, and meet more potential customers. They will not abandon these techniques when the world starts to migrate back to more in-person communication. Instead, they’ll just become more efficient and effective.

Be a chameleon.

It’s your responsibility to flex to the personality of the person you are interacting with, not their responsibility. Each person you interact with has a dominant personality. So do you. Recognize their particular type and be intentional about putting your personality on the backburner.

In essence, become a chameleon. For instance, if the person you are talking to likes to communicate by telling you stories about their weekend, adapt to their need to do so by listening (as much as you may want to get to the point of the meeting). This flexing and adaptability will win them over and differentiate you from other salespeople.

Adapt your sales process.

We all have a defined sales process that is intended to help us win more by following it. However, we must also adapt to the buying and decision-making processes of our prospects that make up the overall “sales process journey”.

If we become too determined and rigid in following only our internal process, we will miss the emotional signals that our prospects may be giving us. However, when we pause and adapt to our prospects’ ways of making decisions, we are more easily able to flex our own processes. As a result, we will win more.

Leverage self-awareness.

Rewire your mindset to be more adaptable when it comes to yourself. Self-awareness will allow us to identify our deficiencies. Self-improvement allows us to focus specifically on those deficiencies. One without the other won’t work.

You must be flexible and aware of what you need to work on as a person. As an example, if you are aware of your need to qualify better, you must also adapt to the realization that your self-improvement is not just asking better questions, but it is also in flexing and having the ability to adapt to other communication styles by listening more.

Learn to surf.

I read an article recently about how, over the course of history, we will always encounter chaotic or uncertain times and that we always have choices. To illustrate his point, the author compared overcoming adversity in life with surfing. The waves in the ocean will always come. They will never stop. We can either let the waves hit us, or we can choose to surf the waves.


Become more adaptable to the new world of virtual selling and master the techniques that will allow you to separate from your competitors and close more deals with our FREE Video Sales Call Check List.

About the author

Keith Lubner

Keith Lubner

Keith Lubner is Chief Strategy Officer at Sales Gravy and acts as an advisor,…

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