#160: Selling Your Writing Services When You’re an Introvert — an Interview with Matthew Pollard

I’m very excited about this episode, because we’re covering a topic that’s extremely relevant and practical for a big part of my audience:

How to turn more prospects into clients when you’re an introvert.

The common wisdom is that to be good at sales you have to have the gift of gab—that you have to be a smooth talker, charming and quick on your feet.

Nothing could be further from the truth. And as my guest explains, if you’re an introvert, you have a big edge over your extroverted peers.

Not only that, but equipped with a process, you can become a true master at closing business.

And it has nothing to do with your personality. Instead, it’s all about shifting your mindset and arming yourself with a process that works.

My guest is Matthew Pollard. Matthew is an internationally award-winning blogger and contributor to CEO, Entrepreneur, and Top Sales World Magazine. He is a recurring guest on FOX and NBC, and has appeared on top-rated podcasts including Entrepreneur on Fire and Eventual Millionaire.

He’s the author of the bestseller The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone, and he has five multimillion-dollar business success stories to his name, all before the age of thirty.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

When did you realize you were an introvert?

Matthew had always been aware that selling to people terrified him. But he didn’t identify as an introvert until his mid-20s. Once he had a label for it, he could address it.

The idea of selling often makes my listeners anxious. How do you define the concept?

Sales is derived from the Scandinavian phrase “to serve.” Matthew is more than happy to serve, consult, help, educate and inspire people to take action.

But Matthew isn’t comfortable with “bulldog” sales techniques.

How did you learn to sell?

After finishing high school, Matthew convinced his parents to allow him to work for a year in a real estate office. The office closed three weeks in, and he lost his job.

The only job openings were in commission sales. He landed a job in business-to-business sales. After five days of product training (and no sales training), he was told to go out and sell.

He performed terribly. He quickly realized he needed a system. Because he struggled with reading, he spent his off hours watching sales training on YouTube. He did this for about six weeks.

Eventually, he was pulled into his manager’s office and told he was the number one sales person in the company.

What did this experience teach you?

Most people think that sales is a natural process. So they just keep trying the same things, even if they don’t work. They don’t learn from their mistakes.

Sales ability isn’t something you have to be born with. It’s a learned skill.

To sell well consistently, you need a system. You have to know what the steps are and then practice to master each step. It takes time.

Why do you see introverts as having an advantage in sales?

As an introvert, Matthew was terrible at sales when he first started. This forced him to develop and follow a process.

In contrast, extroverts might not realize they would be more effective if they followed a process. Instead, they rely on their personality and charisma, but that can only get them so far.

Extroverts can strike up a conversation with anyone. Introverts need a plan.

When you have plan, you have a systematic process that will deliver no matter how you’re feeling or what’s going on around you.

By following a system, you can also better tap into your natural abilities. For many introverts, this means listening carefully, asking good questions and being empathetic.

Process trumps personality in sales. You don’t have to have a certain personality to perform well in sales if you have a good process.

Can you give us a high level overview of your selling process?

In general terms, Matthew’s sales process consists of the following parts:

  • Create rapport. You can plan out what you will say in advance to build a relationship.
  • Build trust and credibility. Plan out what you can say to help prospective buyers understand who you are.
  • Set an agenda. If you don’t tell prospects the process you’re going to follow, they will spend their time wondering where this is going. They will also quickly move to pricing.
  • Ask probing questions. Again, plan out what questions to ask in advance. If you’re asking great questions, you can deal with objections and insert great stories.
  • Tell stories that demonstrate success. You can pre-create stories that will build your credibility and inspire prospects to take action.
  • Use a trial close.
  • Use an assumptive close. E.g. “Does that sound like something that will work for you….”

What do you recommend in terms of pricing—especially if you’re not selling set packages?

People often think they can’t put their services into packages—but they actually can.

If you truly can’t set packages, do a trial close (to make sure they’re interested). Give them some ideas of what you think might work, then go away and put together a proposal.

Once the proposal is ready, don’t just send it to them. Set up a time to walk through it so you can explain the nuances.

What are the advantages of selling service packages?

Selling packages can shift the conversation from “Can you lower your price because I can’t afford your services?” to “Which package can I afford?”

You also need to set your prices high enough to meet your needs—even if the particulars of each project varies.

Creating packages is easier if you’re specific about the types of clients you serve. It also simplifies the sales process because you only have a small number of possible scenarios to deal with.

Remember, there are plenty of clients out there. You’re not trying to land every last one—you’re just trying to bring in the right one.

In other words, you need to:

  1. Work out what differentiates your business
  2. Decide what marketplace you want to target
  3. Create packages and pricing that makes sense
  4. Create a sales system that incorporates great stories.

Most people don’t do any of that!

How can listeners learn more about you and your work?

Matthew’s website:


You can find a lot of his material on YouTube.

On his site, you can download the first chapter of his book The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone for free, which outlines his seven-step sales process.


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