With Kim Staflund, Author of Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors
Competition is fierce in an extroverted world—to be seen, you have to be heard. Unfortunately, self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to all of us. Survey after survey shows that most people fear public speaking, but for introverts, navigating a noisy and competitive market isn’t just overwhelming, it’s terrifying. Steve himself is more of an introvert than an extrovert, which is perhaps why radio suits him so well.
His guest, Kim Staflund, is also a self-proclaimed introvert, which didn’t stop her from reaching best-seller status and putting herself in the spotlight as a nationally recognized sales coach. So introverts, take hope, as Kim Staflund shows you how introversion can actually be a competitive advantage in today’s world, something she’s outlined in her book, Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors.
Kim believes our society tends to prefer extroverts over introverts causing people to feel bad about being introverted. That’s a misunderstanding of what introversion is because not all introverts are shy or socially awkward.
What Is Introversion?
Kim says introversion has to do with where people get their energy. An extrovert gets energy from being in social situations with lots of different people; an introvert expends energy in social situations and recovers it by having time alone.
Moreover, it’s not black or white, but shades of gray. Nobody is completely introverted and nobody is completely extroverted.
An Introvert’s Biggest Fears
When introverts have to operate in an extrovert’s world, their three biggest fears about opening up and sharing ideas, according to Kim Staflund, are: What if it’s a bad idea? What if it doesn’t work? And what if there’s disagreement or criticism to this idea? These fears keep introverts from moving forward with their ideas and led Kim to write her book, Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors.
Kim acknowledges that computers and the Internet have made things easier for introverts, allowing them to play to their strengths without having direct human interaction by taking advantage of presentations, blogs, and social media.
Using Introversion to Your Advantage
While society appears to value extroverts more, being an introvert has certain advantages. For one, introverts like to listen, and being a good salesperson is about shutting up and listening to your customers, so you can give them what they want. Introverts listen and ask questions to really understand what their customers want, which keeps them from being perceived as pushy salespeople and giving them a sales edge.
Introverts are also better at researching things, thinking them through, and understanding opportunities before they tackle the job at hand and that gives them another big advantage, writes Kim Staflund in Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors. Introverts are also very comfortable with solitude and can use their quiet time to read-up and inform themselves.
So introverts and extroverts of the world take note—understand each other’s strengths and team up to leverage those strengths in order to succeed in today’s competitive world.
Disclosure: The opinions expressed are those of the interviewee and not necessarily of the radio show. Interviewee is not a representative of the radio show. Investing involves risk and investors should carefully consider their own investment objectives and never rely on any single chart, graph or marketing piece to make decisions. Content provided is intended for informational purposes only, is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, and should not be considered tax, legal, investment advice. Please contact your tax, legal, financial professional with questions about your specific needs and circumstances. The information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. All data are driven from publicly available information and has not been independently verified by the radio show.
Steve Pomeranz: Competition is fierce in an extroverted world; to be seen, you have to be heard. Unfortunately, self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to all of us. We’ve heard it before in survey after survey, most people fear public speaking more than death. For introverts, navigating a noisy and competitive market isn’t just overwhelming, it’s terrifying.
And you might not believe this, but I, your humble host, is more of an introvert than an extrovert as well. Maybe that’s why radio suits me so well. But my next guest, Kim Staflund knows what it’s like. Being a self-proclaimed introvert didn’t stop her from reaching best-seller status, and it hasn’t prevented her from putting herself in the spotlight as a nationally recognized sales coach.
So settle in as we take on this important topic to help those who have declared and those of you still closeted introverts out there. Hey Kim, welcome to the show.
Kim Staflund: Hi, how are you?
Steve Pomeranz: Good.
Kim Staflund: Thank you for having me.
Steve Pomeranz: My pleasure. Kim, what is the primary factor causing people to be introverted, do you think?
Kim Staflund: Well, first and foremost, I think in our society right now we tend to prefer extroverts over introverts or we tend to kind of make people feel bad about being introverted. And that’s a misunderstanding of what introversion is. Not all introverts are shy or socially kind of inadequate or something like that.
All that introversion is, is it has does to do with where do you get your energy from? So, where an extrovert gets energy from being in social situations with lots of different people, an introvert actually has to expend energy in those social situations. We can still do fine socially, but when we come out of it later, we get our energy back by having a period of time alone.
Steve Pomeranz: Yeah.
Kim Staflund: That’s a simplified kind of explanation of the difference between introversion and extroversion.
Steve Pomeranz: And there are shades of gray between the two, it’s not just black or white, introvert versus extrovert.
There are people who can thrive in some environments but also thrive in environments where there is some solitude and gives them a chance to regroup, right?
Kim Staflund: Absolutely, it’s kind of a sliding scale from one end to the other, and nobody is completely introverted and nobody is completely extroverted.
Steve Pomeranz: So, when a person is introverted and they have to operate in an extrovert’s world, what are their biggest fears? What may hold them back from being productive?
Kim Staflund: Well, probably three of the biggest fears that introverts—and you know what, possibly other people as well, extroverts as well—but some of the top fears are, first of all, what if it’s a bad idea? The other one is, what if it doesn’t work? And the third one is, what if there’s disagreement or criticism to this idea?
Steve Pomeranz: Okay.
Kim Staflund: So, those are kind of the top three fears that might stop us from moving forward on any idea in business.
Steve Pomeranz: So it sounds like a fear that would be based on some kind of public ridicule then.
Kim Staflund: One of them is, and what I did though before in this last year, I wrote a book called Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors. And the reason that I went into writing this book was because my last two books, when I was teaching people how to publish professionally and how to market and sell books, I had a lot of push-back from people who said, “well, you can do that, I cannot.” Because they viewed it as they thought I was an extrovert. So, I thought no, no, you need to understand, whether you’re introverted or extroverted, you can sell. So, I started writing this book, Successful Selling Tips for Introverts.
But I had to ask myself, what is causing this fear in introverted people that is preventing them from moving forward with this? And you know what, it’s actually genetics more than anything else.
Steve Pomeranz: Well, you talk about getting energy, extroverts get energy from their public interaction. I think the first person I think of when I hear that is Bill Clinton.
I mean, this seems like a person who thrives in a public forum and a public environment. And I’m sure there are plenty. And Woody Allen, I guess, would be the [LAUGH] role model for introverts, I suppose. Someone who’s very productive but is totally awkward and perhaps inadequate in public.
I guess today’s world to publicize yourself can actually fit the introvert, him or herself, because you’re talking about doing a lot online in the privacy of your own home.
Kim Staflund: Absolutely, and that’s what I focus on when I’m teaching. I’m a sales coach for authors, but just for business people in general as well.
Blogging, when you couple blogging with social media marketing, not only is this a really effective marketing and selling platform for introverts, but also for extroverts as well. And you can reach a worldwide market with this by utilizing the power of keywords, it’s all about keywords and bringing in the audience that is already looking for you.
So, where traditional kinds of advertising and marketing like newspaper and billboards and television and radio, they tried to interrupt people into noticing you. But this blogging already appeals to people who are already in the market looking for you because they’re already typing those keywords in to Google or Yahoo as it is and, boom, there you come up in the top search engine results if you’re blogging effectively, which I teach people how to do.
Steve Pomeranz: My guest is Kim Staflund, she is the author of Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors. But also has founded her own publishing company, and she coaches individuals in that area. But also, she’s specializes or talks specifically to those who are introverted, and these ideas carry forth into really any profession.
Now, Kim, introverts can use their nature as an advantage. I mean, you mentioned early on that, in a sense, extroverts maybe seem to be held in a higher regard, let’s say, than introverts. Or there’s somehow something wrong if you’re an introvert. But an introvert has certain advantages. What are they?
Kim Staflund: Well, the one that I’ve noticed the most, so I am an introvert, I’m a self-proclaimed introvert, but I have over 20 years of sales experience, believe it or not, that we’re everywhere [LAUGH]. And one of the sales tactics that they teach you in any kind of sales room, the best way to sell to somebody is to shut up and listen.
So, you listen, you ask them questions about themselves because you want to find out what do they like about their current vendor? What do they not like about that vendor? And you want to find out as much as you can about their pain points so that you can design a program, customize to them, and that’s the best way to sell to them.
So, on that note, introverts are a lot better at shutting up and listening than extroverts maybe are. Extroverts like to talk a lot.
Steve Pomeranz: Yeah.
Kim Staflund: So, that’s an advantage of an introvert.
Steve Pomeranz: Interesting, well, again, as I mentioned before, I’m a bit of an introvert myself, so guess who asks all the questions on this show?
It’s me. [LAUGH]
So, that kind of fits my nature extremely well. But also introverts can take the time to research things and to think them through fully and to kind of understand opportunities before they tackle them and that, I would think in this world, will be a tremendous advantage.
Kim Staflund: Absolutely, it is because of the amount of time; we actually enjoy spending time alone, reading and researching, this as a natural quality for an introvert. And yes, that puts you at an advantage for sure.
Steve Pomeranz: The book is Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors, my guest Kim Staflund, that’s S-T-A-F-L-U-N-D.
And Kim, how can people reach you, what website can they go to find out more?
Kim Staflund: They can go to www.polishedpublishinggroup.com. And the company is also on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, all the different places that you might want to find me or my company, we’re there. Because that’s where you need to be when you are blogging and using social media marketing.
Steve Pomeranz: And to find out more about Kim, and to hear this interview again, don’t forget to join the conversation at Stevepomeranz.com. Kim, thank you so much for joining us.
Kim Staflund: Thank you.