Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why Socially Adept and Knowledgable Introverts Might Have the Best Traits for Modern Sales/PPC Managers

Extroverts are traditionally the ones to be considered to be the best marketers - they are capable of having conversations with others, and so, were able to go in, schmooze the manager up to the owner, then make the sale. They could bully a person into adding that extra option on their new car. They could call a business and convince them to use your product... Then search engines had to come along and flip the entire marketing industry on it's head.

Thanks to the internet and how it's changed economies and societies in such a short time, I believe that the best salesmen of the near future will be Introverts rather than Extroverts, but only the ones who can understand/empathize with their target end user.

Just to clear the air, I'm going to go ahead and say that most of the people claiming to be introverts might just be lying to themselves, because you know, being extroverted is so passe. I actually cringed writing the end of that last sentence.

Fictional Example Time:
(Just bear with me for the following - there are points being made, I swear.)

You're a business owner in the late 80's hiring someone to drive sales of your Doohickey (Trademarked) over the phone and in person to distributors and retailers. You put up a listing in the local Penny-Saver -

Needs the Gift of Gab and the Drive of a Bull!"

Only two people show up three days later, partially because there was an accident with the Penny-Saver van (Why do they let the town drunk drive the delivery van?!), and the issue that you bought advertising space in only got delivered to the less popular grocery stores in town that week. Good Lord! Only if there was a paperless delivery system that could be magically accessed whenever for this sort of thing. But enough with the crazy talk, let's get to the candidates.

Larry shows up in a button down and jeans, seems polite enough and answers all of your questions in a thoughtful manner with good questions of his own, but stutters a little bit through his interview.

Then Joe shows up dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit, gives you a knuckle-popping handshake and a big grin, and answers all of your questions enthusiastically, but keeps talking about himself and why he's the best darn salesman to have ever walked this earth and never asks a single question.

"Well," you think, "Larry seems like a nice kid, but he couldn't go in and close a sale to save his life. Joe can push a conversation towards a sale, or at least he tells me he can. Too bad he has the personality of a cheese grater."

You go out to the waiting room and give Joe the sales position but you at least take Larry out for a beer because you feel he would be pleasant to have a conversation with.

While sipping your beer, you muse about what a ridiculous situation this was and a small voice in the back of your head wonders why you didn't just try to wait at least a couple days for more realistic candidates before making the decision like a sane person. But as it turns out, Larry is a huge fan of those new-fangled "microbrews" that started getting popular, just like you! So you start talking and buy a couple more rounds, then have too many beers with Larry, feel bad for him, and give him a temp job making your print ads because he at least has a background in art from high school.

This is the story of many introverts looking for a job in marketing even now.

Real fast, a review:
Introverts: Need time alone after social interaction
Extroverts: Need social interaction after time alone

Notice that being awkward and socially inept isn't in the introvert description? Because it isn't. You can be a socially adept introvert, or a socially inept extrovert. It's just that the inverse set is a bit more common noticed.

Socially Adept Introvert means that they aren't completely ignorant of social norms and human emotion - this is important because one still needs to understand the psyche of the end user and the stage of the buying cycle they are in as well as the things they value in the product they are searching for to pique interest and close the sale.

The key to this argument is in the previous sentence: "they are searching for."

they SEARCHing.

When Joe the Fictional 80's Salesman goes into a business and asks for a minute of time to tell the manager or owner about the Doohickeys, Joe is trying to get them to listen. Joe is trying to aggressively push in and get his pitch in, stir up interest, and make the sale before they have a chance to say no or a competitor catches their eye and robs him of the opportunity.

With the internet, Modern Joe is still be useful in sales, but mainly be there to close the sale on someone who was directed to him via a web search result, ready to hear about the Doohickey he has to offer, the path to the sale all planned out by Modern Larry.

With Search PPC advertising like Adwords, you're aiming to get the attention of someone who might be ready to hear your message because the person asked the almighty knowledge machine Google about something related to what you're selling. They search, the Adwords algorithm takes into account your campaign info, weighs it against your competitors, and hopefully, you catch their attention and close the sale, possibly without a second of human interaction needed.

Take in/Predict the energy of the customer who is reaching out to you, and redirect the force into your planned sales funnels.

This is marketing Judo. (Aikido, if you dislike contact sports)

To do this, the person aiming to make the sale must have some level of these three characteristics:

Patience - The ability to wait for the consumer to come to them
Empathy - The ability to anticipate why the consumer would come to them
Creativity - The ability to impress the consumer who has come to them

From personal experience, I have found these particular traits most common in those I label Social Adept Introverts, and if you combine this with a want to study and learn, then you have the best characteristics for the modern marketer/PPC manager.

Disagree? Comment below.

1 comment:

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