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Ambiverts, not extroverts, tend to be most effective salespeople.

Washington, April 11 ( ANI ): It is often assumed that extroverts make the best salespeople? But that is not the case.

A new study has found that "ambiverts," people who are neither introverted nor extraverted but who fall somewhere in between, tend to be the most effective salespeople.

"Although there are plenty of claims in the literature that more extraverted salespeople would perform better, the evidence was surprisingly weak," researcher Adam Grant of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania said.

Based on his own research, Grant predicted that extraverts wouldn't outshine everyone else - rather, people who had qualities of both extraversion and introversion would be the most effective in making and closing sales.

For this particular study, he conducted a personality survey and collected three-month sales records for more than 300 salespeople, both men and women.

Just as he predicted, the people who had intermediate extraversion scores turned out to be the best salespeople. They raked in about 24 percent more in revenue than introverts, and a whopping 32 percent more in revenue than extroverts over the three-month period.

Grant was surprised to find that people on the two ends of the spectrum - extreme introverts and extreme extraverts - brought in relatively equal amounts of revenue.

The study's findings suggest that the classic stereotype of the extraverted salesperson misses an important concept: Personality traits like extraversion have costs and benefits. The same attributes that facilitate job performance at moderate levels can become "too much of a good thing" at extreme levels.

Extreme extraverts might lose sales because they don't listen carefully enough to their customers, dominating the conversation with their own perspectives and ideas. At the same time, extraverts might be assertive and enthusiastic to a fault, leaving customers wary and cautious about being manipulated.

Ambiverts, on the other hand, seem to strike a balance between the two personality traits:

"The ambivert advantage stems from the tendency to be assertive and enthusiastic enough to persuade and close, but at the same time, listening carefully to customers and avoiding the appearance of being overly confident or excited," Grant explains.

The study is published in the journal Psychological Science. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Apr 11, 2013
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