It is estimated that about 1/3-1/2 of your potential clients are introverts. Hardly a stat to shake a stick at and definitely worth learning a bit more about what makes us tick when we are shopping for products and services. Odds are if your business is not currently introvert-friendly, you will have no idea because most of us won’t tell you! How’s that for a catch 22?
The following are a few tips that will help you make your business a little more introvert-friendly!
Disclaimer: If you have read my book you will know that I recommend to entrepreneurs to set up their businesses to cater to the potential clients that share their favorite methods of communication. If you have set up your business this way, and you are pretty much the only person in your business sailing the ship, and you are happy, then by all means disregard the following!
However, if you are looking to bring in more clients and perhaps you have staff to handle your customer service inquiries, then offering as many options and attracting as many people as you can is a no brainer! Read on!
1. Have a comprehensive, informative website
Introverts like to research online! I don’t think you will find too many introverts that would rather call you with their questions, than find them for themselves first. In fact, if calling is the only way to get answers, very often you will lose them as a potential client before you even hear from them!
This is good news to you! What this means is that they will be fairly low maintenance clients as long as you provide the answers to their questions on your website.
Ensure that your FAQ section, your pricing and product information/details are so comprehensive that if they are reading them (don’t get me started on how many people don’t READ) they will have nothing left to do but make their final decision to give you their money.
You have to trust me on this one! My husband and I have made decisions on purchasing everything from vehicles to finding a home-builder merely by researching and communicating via email with businesses in cyberspace. In fact, one home-builder who insisted on phone calls was dropped out of the running for building our home just because the phone calls for every question and detail were so inconvenient for us. That’s a big sale to lose!
2. Give them a communication preference option in your website contact form
This is so easy to do! In your contact form, offer your client the option to choose their preferred method of communication. “Would you prefer we returned your inquiry by: Phone OR Email?”
SUPER easy to do, and then I don’t have to make up a fake phone number in that “required” phone number field. SIGH. I really don’t want you to phone me… have I mentioned that before?
3. If applicable, have an online booking/cancellation feature
I have to be honest with you about my huge phone-calling problem. I will put off booking an appointment for days/weeks/months just because I don’t want to call in. For weeks now, I have been carrying over from day-to-day in my daytimer:
- “book Grizz vet appointment”
- “book chiropractor appointment”
- “book massage appointment” (oooo I actually crossed this one off my list because I couldn’t sleep last night I was in so much pain!)
- “book naturopath appointment”
I am not kidding, my back is killing me and I just can’t bring myself to pick up the phone. Here’s why:
I am awful at thinking on the spot. And when I call in to make an appointment they throw out a few at me, and I have to decide right then and there if they will work. Sometimes, I commit to one only to find later it’s a conflict. Then I have to call back and start the process all over again – I leave a message on your machine and then you call me back and leave one on mine. UGH. It’s a huge time waste in my humble introvert opinion!
Worth noting: I am also hard of hearing. Phone calls can be really stressful for me because let’s just say there are a whole lotta “pardon me?”’s and it’s embarrassing for me. It’s worth keeping that in mind for others like me – introvert or not!
Online booking is my very best friend! I have chosen businesses for the sole reason that they offer online booking! I can cancel and move an appointment at 3 am if I want to instead of putting it in my calendar and procrastinating about calling back for the majority of the following day!
LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR! Do not claim to offer online booking if you only mean that I chose an appointment time online, and you CALL ME BACK to tell me if it’s available or not! NOOOO! This is the same thing as me calling you! It does not count. (Actually it’s worse, because now you’ve caught me off-guard and unprepared!)
Ensure that your cancellation policy is either visible when they book, or in the confirmation email so your butt is covered should any problems arise.
4. Have all your forms available online
If you require your client to fill in questionnaires, health histories, or anything of that nature, provide links to those forms online. Even if they need to print and fill them out by hand, this is ok too!
It is a fact that us introverts don’t think well on the spot. Add in some distractions like a screaming child running around the waiting room, or someone’s super loud gum chewing and it’s going to be really hard for me to concentrate on all these questions!
BUT, if I can fill them in at home, I can thoughtfully and comprehensively answer those questions in advance! I like to know what I am getting into so this is great! In fact, I hate to admit it, but I will probably have those forms filled out days in advance and neatly tucked away in my daytimer ready for appointment day. YEAH ME!
5. Offer an online chat feature
OMG I love the online chat feature. It’s like I made a wish I didn’t know I had and it came true!!
You know what this is right, that little window that pops up, “can I help you with anything?” How did it know?? “YES I don’t know which of these socks are thin enough to fit in my sneakers!”
My last major purchase online was a new MAC and I was at a bit of a loss as to what I needed to purchase. As “fun” as the Apple store is (no it’s not, it’s way to peopley in there) I don’t want to ask those blue-shirted dudes any questions! (or, are they the orange-shirted ones??)
Instead, I had an adorable photo of a very friendly looking person help me through my entire computer building process. She walked me through the best options for a photographer, and she even gave me a link to my cart so even if I didn’t want to drop that $4000 right then and there (Not gonna lie, I totally did!) I could just go to my email and click that link and my fully loaded, ready-to-go custom computer was at the ready!
That chat window on many-a-site has caused me to purchase everything from diapers for my dog, to loose leaf tea, AND on the spot people! That’s immediate sales, and you can sell to me in your PJS for all I know (which is awesome cause I just made my purchase in my PJS)! Just do it!
Not a tech geek? No problem, check out services like Zopim that can easily integrate a chat option into your website.
RANDOM BONUS TIP: If you offer online sales, offer PayPal!
This tip is for every potential client, not only introverts! Ok, so I keep my wallet in my car. When I go on a hog-wild shopping spree online and fill my cart to the brim, and then I am confronted with no PayPal option – UGH!
So now, I have to go get my wallet, and my husband is going to see me, “what’s up honey?”. CRAP he’s going to see me pull out my card and wonder what I am buying now! It’s best I wait until he’s not home…
And guess what happens? I forget about that lovely cart full of fun, and I don’t make the purchase. PayPal is instantaneous gratification and I can sneak around with my PayPal account and no one is the wiser! Offer PayPal if you want my “I am bored and I really need a fancy new light stand” purchases!
I don’t think I am a lone introvert here when I say that new technology and all the online options are a dream come true for me! No, I am not overly hermity, I just prefer to take care of a lot of things when and where it’s convenient for me!
Try enhancing your business to make it a little more accessible to us “we-don’t-want-to-make-friends-just-do-business” types, and see if it helps with your sales!