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Car salesman shaking hands over desk with customer in car showroom (Stockbyte/Getty Images)
Car salesman shaking hands over desk with customer in car showroom (Stockbyte/Getty Images)

small business briefing

Think extroverts make the best salespeople? Think again Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz .

New research suggests neither the most nor the least outgoing are best at sales. Think in-between

Outgoing, gregarious, good shmoozers: The people we think of as extroverts are the best people to put into sales roles, right?

Wrong, according to this fascinating piece in The Washington Post. The piece, by author Daniel Pink, points to research that has found that extroversion is one of the big traits that hiring managers look for when bringing on sales staff. The only problem, it notes, is that there is no research to support the notion that extroverts do best on the sales floor. In fact, any efforts to make the connection have come up with a “flimsy” correlation, at best, the Post piece says.

So, naturally that might make you think that means that introverts are the better candidates. Not so, either, the piece says, pointing to new research from a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Management, which is slated to be published later this year in the Psychological Science journal.

For his research, according to Mr. Pink, the professor gave personality assessmentsto and then tracked the sales performances of reps at a software company.. The professor’s finding, according to Mr. Pink’s piece: Introverts fared the worst, extroverts came next – but the real winners were ambiverts.

Ambiverts, as you may know, are personalities who include the qualities of both extroverts and introverts. As the Post piece describes them, “they’re not quiet, but they’re not loud. They know how to assert themselves, but they’re not pushy.” To borrow from Goldlilocks, when it comes to sales, that in-between personality may be just right.

Taking notice of University of Waterloo

Few Canadians with their eye on the startup world would not know about the University of Waterloo’s reputation and involvement. Now that Research in Motion and Blackberry have been back in the news, The New York Times has taken notice, calling the university  one of the world’s best tech schools.

The Times's  focus: While RIM was once a destination of choice for co-op students and graduates, those numbers are dwindling. But still, the university is churning out students finding success at big U.S. tech giants, or creating sucessful companies for themselves.

Among successful startups who began their lives at the University of Waterloo, the article cites grad Eric Migicovsky, who gained notoriety last year when his Pebble Technology Corp. turned to crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise $100,000 – and ended up with $10.3-million to fund production of a watch with customizable e-ink displays that link to smart phones.

It also points to the trio of founders of BufferBox Inc., who scored big when Google Inc. recently purchased their startup parcel delivery storage service.

 

America’s youngest female billionaire

Ever chowed down at an In-N-Out Burger outlet? Me neither, but apparently enough hungry people are hitting the U.S.-based fast food chain to create the country’s youngest female billionaire, according to Bloomberg. There’s also coverage at Business Insider.

Lynsi Torres is just 30, and the owner and president of the chain that her grandparents founded and she inherited after several deaths in the family, according to the coverage. The 280-outlet chain has locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Utah, according to its website. The Huffington Post’s report notes that Bloomberg has sussed out other “secret billionaires,” including the four stepgrandchildren of Nazi propoganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

KEY EVENTS AND DATES

Focus on female entrepreneurs in Hamilton

The City of Hamilton has created a series of four events aimed at inspiring, educating an empowering female entrepreneurs. Among them is an event to be held Feb. 25 with Donna Marie Antoniadis, co-founder and chief executive officer of ShesConnected Multimedia Corp. The event is free. For more information, click here.

 

EdTech Innovation

Registration is now open for EdTech Innovation, a national conference hosted by Athabasca University that will take place in Calgary from May 1 to May 3. The conference, which will profile innovative research being done at universities as well as new technologies, products and services being developed by startups, will bring together new companies, researchers, venture capitalists and buyers of technology. For more information, click here .

BDC Young Entrepreneur Award

The Business Development Bank of Canada has opened applications for its 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. The competition, open to entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35, offers a $100,000 grand prize and a second prize of $25,000 in consulting services. The application deadline is April 2. For more information on eligibility and applying, click here .

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

A delivery service for the things nobody likes to shop for

The Disruptors: With RecurBox , Customers can order regular shipments of non-perishable goods to their door, stocked with a customized roster of recurring items

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Serial entrepreneurs profit from past mistakes

Business owners who have racked up a success have a big advantage when starting another enterprise, research shows, as recounted in this story , published in November, 2010.

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