How Do You Make Millennials Good Salespeople? Hint: It’s Not Easy!
The simple answer is, it’s not easy! There are so many great industries that have a significant need for a great salesperson. You know what that person looks like. Confident, educated, willing to learn, takes direction well. OK, so I just defined the “anti-millennial”.
Millennials distrust companies, don’t like being told what to do, want to learn as act of organic nature, they disrupt industries, like to hack stuff and lastly amongst all other look at their phone as a friend not a tool for financial success. Sure they utilize it every second of every day as their primary communication tool. But utilizing it as a tool of the corporate entity to illicit a positive response (AKA sell) by a potential customer seems as foreign as waiting in line to see a movie in the world of NetFlix to the millennial.
Phone sales etiquette is not something practiced or even taught. I’ve had many interns in the last 16 years and I have only had two ready to dial salespeople that had what it takes when they showed up. I am sure they know who they are because I offered them jobs. And that rarely happens in my internship program for various reasons.
Millennial Sales Training 101: My four (4) steps to help any millennial be a good salesperson:
- Evaluate self-esteem: My #1 pet peeve is when someone doesn’t believe in themselves. I have coached for years and coaching someone up is an art and important. But I can’t coach up someone that doesn’t believe in their ability to communicate a message and create a positive experience with a customer. This is the definition of someone that should be in customer service not sales!
- Execute A Personality survey: You don’t have to formalize a true survey but get to know this person. What traits do they possess that can be a positive attribute in the sales process. I look for the following:
* Do they come from an Entrepreneurial family or life long “employees”?
* What is their value system and how have they employed that at times of overcoming major obstacles such as family death, break-ups, etc.
* How do they view long term relationships?
* What is their 5 favorite brands and why?
* If they had a chance to spend a day with any famous person in American history who would it be and what would they want to gain out of it?
* Explain success?
* What do you love other than family and friends?
I feel like these questions and others give me a real insight into who I am talking to and what I can do for them?
3. Role Play. Role Play, Role Play! Most millennials have a way of shrugging off learning when its not in their realm of time and interest. They sorta get through it but they aren’t necessarily absorbing it. Like auditing the class vs engaging in it. So I say take them out of their comfort zone. Give the millennial 5 different types of people based on job title, size of the company, previous executions and goals. Have them cold call this person yet they are calling you. Ask them tough questions, reject their offer, make them share deep information on the company, product or brand. Push them to their limits and beyond.
4. Create Organic Sales teams: So millennials like being in comfort zones. They aren’t the adventurous corporate types. They might jump out of a plane but they aren’t jumping on New Biz Dev all that fast! It is imperative to start the process of on-boarding your new young sales team in a way that they are comfortable with the ask and ready to fulfill their potential. Millennials like community. Social media is all about community. So for those companies that have multiple sales offices, I would create a LinkedIn or FB group where the salespeople can aggregate and share stories, successes and even failures. A sales community within your company of trained and enthused millennials is the pathway to success!
Remember, millennials are different, unique, special and very capable of becoming great. It is worth the investment in creating an environment of success and personal fulfillment to tie in with their lives. Fitness, Food and travel are also hot topics of this demo. How you integrate these are up to you. Good luck and I hope this blog helps!