"Mismatched" Spouses - Introverts & Extroverts

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Got a great question from a reader yesterday!sad face

NH writes:

Dear Jennifer,

What do you do when your spouse doesn't get the SWS* [Sell with Soul] concept? My husband is a born salesman if you know what I mean. He has no problem striking up a conversation with anyone, in fact I get some leads from him because he isn't ashamed to brag about me and refer me. I feel blessed to have someone who believes in me so much and supports my career. But we have now had two heated discussions because I was explaining the SWS concept and why I thought it was the perfect thing for my personality (which is the total opposite from his) and he started "coaching" me on how to get out  there and to face things that scare me; cold calling, door knocking, etc. He said, "Everything can't be all fun and there are things in every one's job that they don't like. You can't always take the easy route" (when it comes to lead generation).

You probably know how I was feeling. I'm not sure what to say anymore because every time we discuss it, someone ends up getting hurt. Has anyone else had this problem, if not with someone close to them, maybe a team leader, broker, or fellow agent?


Oh, yeah, NH, I SO feel your pain! I've dealt with this all my life, although not as much anymore because I can throw the "I wrote a book about it!" card around. The thing is, extroverts often really don't understand us - they just think we're wussing out when we refuse to do things that make us uncomfortable. I've had my share of knock-down, drag-out fights myself over my more reserved personality, and, like yours, they always end badly.

Here's an article I wrote on the subject - Stop Trying to CURE us!. Here's another "I'm a Reluctant Salesperson". And another. "Introverts, Stay IN Your Comfort Zone"

I believe that a large percentage of the real estate failures (that is, agents who enter the business and then quit) are due to the cookie-cutter training that insists there's only one path to success, regardless of one's personality. That simply ain't true. Once a salesperson (regardless of his or her product) acknowledges, accepts and even celebrates his natural God-given talents and interests, he can blossom doing things HIS way.

But force him to do it THEIR way and he'll almost certainly fail. It's not a matter of being stubborn or stupid or lazy or wussy. We introverts just have a different perspective on the world and the people in it. It's not better, it's not inferior; it's just different.

NH - I'll chat with you more about this offline, but thanks for the Monday morning blog material!

Any fellow Introverts (or Extroverts married to Introverts) have any tips for us? (Other than "suck it up" - we've heard that one before!)

* When I advise agents to "Sell with Soul" it simply means (among other things) that they should stay true to who they are, whether they are introverts, extroverts or something in the middle. But many introverts equate SWS to introversion because the SWS philosophy is one of the few that acknowledges the fact that introverts can be successful selling real estate. However, to clarify, you don't have to be an introvert to  Sell with Soul!!!!



p.s. I have a special newsletter just for introverts - you can register for it here: http://www.sellwithsoul.com/r_prospect.html


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Comments 30 New Comment

Susan Haughton, REALTOR Alexandria VA Homes for Sale

Men ARE from Mars, you know...and when presented with a "problem," they want to fix it!  God bless 'em for that trait, but sometimes their idea of a fix is not the idea we need. 

This hubby reminds me of all those cold callin' and door knockin' agents who like to say, "get out of your comfort zone.  Just do it!"  LOL

In the case you cited, though, is the problem that "NH" has not yet been successful, thus leading dear hubby to think her approach isn't working?  Perhaps he is right she isn't doing what she needs to do in order to be successful, but perhaps he isn't right in saying it is in her approach.  I cannot help but think if she were successful, they would not even be having the conversation.  So, maybe there is a problem, just not the problem she thinks.  ;-)


May 20, 2009 01:15 PM
Sue Gabriel

I get similar comments from my husband...but he's more introverted than I am! We'd both rather sit home than go to a party with a ton of people, but we're also pretty chatty when around people we're comfortable with. It's very hard to define one way or the other.

May 25, 2009 05:20 PM
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate

I'm an introvert married to a complete extrovert, so I understand this so well.  After 19 years together, we have learned to understand our differences.  It just takes time and a little education on the part of each spouse.  I learned to be honest and frank with my husband about what works for me when he would give me advice like this.  There is no cookie cutter approach to anything in life.

May 28, 2009 12:22 PM
Robert (Vegas Bob) Swetz
Commercial & Residential Real Estate Agent

Sorry I missed commenting on your post, it's very interesting. Myself, I am a Gemini so I am introvert & extrovert, it just depends on my mood!

Vegas Bob

June 01, 2009 07:19 PM
Sharon Sapp
For Old Fashioned Service with Today's Results!
Century 21 Gold

I'm like Vegas Bob in that I'm both a Gemini and an introvert and extrovert but am much more comfortable as an introvert. My personality is more nurturing, helpful caring than a "hey look at me" type. I have gone up to strangers looking at real estate books and handing them my card and questioning them as to whether they are "lookers" or "buyers" and telling them to contact me when they are ready or if they have any questions. I'll steer them to my website, also. The times I do that, my extroverted husband calls me "The Hawk". He means that nicely but I really don't like it. I don't want to be perceived that way. Anyway, we always talk about it and the end result is I let him be the extrovert and he can get me as many leads as he wants to. I'll continue to stay true to myself and get my leads my way. It works and I get double the leads!

June 05, 2009 09:50 AM

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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