Growing up, I always assumed I was an extrovert because I was loud. The definition you see for introverts is usually “shy, reserved, dismissive and not social,” while extroverts are usually “loud, outgoing, social and overly expressive.” I always had such a hard time with these definitions because while I am loud, I am not outgoing. While I am social, I am also very reserved in my opinions and who I express them to.
I never really fit into either “box.” Then I learned about ambiverts in my intro to psychology class in college, which is essentially the middle ground, and I felt a little more comfortable with that.
The reality is, we all fall somewhere on this spectrum.
Ultimately, introverts prefer to work in less stimulating environments and extroverts prefer the more stimulating environments. Ambiverts being somewhere in the middle, may prefer either scenario or may want less stimulation in some situations and more stimulation in others.
While you do not need to do a full personality analysis of your clients, it is important to understand how to most effectively communicate with them. And your personality type heavily impacts your communication and information retention styles.
Communication with Introverts
Those more on the introvert side will most likely be a lot more thoughtful in their words. They feel more comfortable being open about their ideas or opinions when they have had time to think it through on their own time. They also can feel drained when are overly communicative, so keep that in mind as well. When communicating important information to these clients, consider the following:
- Written communication is often preferable. Using texts and emails instead of phone and video calls are often easier to digest for them. They will be able to retain what you’re telling them when they’re comfortable and not on-edge from a random phone call. This gives the introvert time to digest your information and articulate a response.
- Give them time to accept your information. Coming off of my first point, (unless you need an immediate answer) give them time to consider what you’ve told them. Let them know they can email you their answer or questions later today or this week.
- Be outgoing for them. Some introverts might not feel comfortable bringing concerns to the table if you do not ask. This may seem like overkill, but just checking up on your client to make sure they feel good about their business with you is one little thing that can create a life-long client.
Communication with Extroverts
Extroverts are going to be your more outgoing clients. Those who enjoy engaging with you and who “learn by doing.” These clients work well with others and are usually excited to do so. However, it can be easy to lose their attention because they’re so used to going a mile a minute. So keep your communication short and to the point. When communicating with an extrovert, consider the following:
- Talk decisions through with them. Extroverts often like to talk through problems or concerns, this makes them feel more comfortable with their decision.
- Video or phone calls are usually preferable. These are the people that get more out of face-to-face interaction. They want to talk to you, see you and hear what you have to say as you’re saying it so they can come right back with questions if they have any.
- Keep them on task. Extroverts tend to be more outgoing and natural people pleasers. You may find yourself talking with these clients about an interest you have in common or maybe a popular movie that’s coming out. Which is awesome, but you want to make sure they leave the conversation feeling confident in what you discussed. These people also tend to make decisions quickly, so make sure you’re able to confirm they’re making these quick decisions, good ones.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, most of us fall somewhere on the spectrum between being an introvert and extrovert. It’s up to you to figure out how to best communicate with your clients, but recognizing their extrovert or introvert tendencies will make your relationship with them much better.
People want to work with those who understand both their businesses’ needs and are willing to work with them in a way that makes them feel comfortable. You being aware of their personality, comfort levels and communication styles is a great way to demonstrate to your clients that you care about their well being and are going the extra mile to make sure that they understand what you’re telling them.