Adam Grant found out different. An associate professor at Wharton, he conducted a study of more than 300 salespeople to find out if extroverts or introverts sell more.
So who won? This experiment determined that the best salespeople are in the middle -- half extroverted and half introverted.
Successful Salespeople Have Moderate Temperaments - Scientific American
Move Over Extroverts, Here Come the Ambiverts - Forbes
He's not sure why that is the case, but postulates that these "ambiverts" are better at listening at the right times, and asserting themselves at the right moment as well. Plus they may be able to adapt to a variety of different buyer personas better.
What do you think? What is your real world experience on extroverts vs. introverts? Which one are you?
PS. Here's the Abstract:
Despite the widespread assumption that extraverts are the most productive salespeople, research has shown weak and conflicting relationships between extraversion and sales performance. In light of these puzzling results, I propose that the relationship between extraversion and sales performance is not linear but curvilinear: Ambiverts achieve greater sales productivity than extraverts or introverts do. Because they naturally engage in a flexible pattern of talking and listening, ambiverts are likely to express sufficient assertiveness and enthusiasm to persuade and close a sale but are more inclined to listen to customers’ interests and less vulnerable to appearing too excited or overconfident.
A study of 340 outbound-call-center representatives supported the predicted inverted-U-shaped relationship between extraversion and sales revenue. This research presents a fresh perspective on the personality traits that facilitate successful influence and offers novel insights for people in choosing jobs and for organizations in hiring and training employees."