Depth of a salesman

This column was originally published in The Observer / Guardian Online

Do you have the personality of a successful salesperson?

To find out, answer the four questions below, then add up your score (Notice that questions 2 and 3 are reverse scored as compared to 1 and 4 (i.e., Strongly Disagree = 7, Strongly Agree =1)).


  1. I am the life of the party                              1     2     3     4     5     6     7
  2. I don’t talk a lot                                            7     6     5     4     3     2     1
  3. I keep in the background                             7     6     5     4     3     2     1
  4. I talk to a lot of different people at parties   1     2     3     4     5     6     7




If you scored 23 or higher, you are an extrovert. If you scored 14 or lower, you are an introvert. If you scored 15-22 you are an ambivert (i.e., in between). So, do you have the personality of a salesman?

You might think that extroverts make the best salespeople. But, if so, you’d be wrong. A 2013 study of call-centre workers found that amiverts actually brought in the most money – an impressive average of $155 per hour – as opposed to $125 for extroverts and $120 for introverts. Study author Adam Grant suggests that ambiverts offer the best of both worlds: Like extroverts, they are assertive and enthusiastic, but are less likely than this group to come across overconfident or overexcited, which can put customers off.

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