We’ve all learned to sell by understanding the customer’s needs – asking questions and showing them the way to what they want or need…
It has to be this way because the customer has the power. They can decide to buy or not to buy.
It appears that a major change is underway in the workforce. “Millennials” are post-Gen-X’ers (born between 1980 and 1995). There is more demand for workers than there are “Millennials” that want to work.
Watch this video clip from a recent 60 Minutes show on CBS.
Now consider what this means in terms of hiring and training a younger sales team. What about selling to these Millennials?
I’ve managed a few of these kids. It takes a bit of getting used to. I grew up wanting and needing a job because it defined me. Success in work was paramount to those of previous generations. The Millennials put family, friends and lifestyle before work. We used to think that a good job and the resulting prosperity brought a comfortable lifestyle and the time to enjoy family and friends.
No more. Family and friends should come first and there is less of a need to achieve “status” in order to “earn” their respect. Lifestyle is taken for granted. You could argue that we just too damned prosperous for our own good.
My view is that we have begun to get our priorities right!
That doesn’t change the fact that motivating people that came of age in the last 25 years is a lot more complicated.
In the end, I’ve learned that you have to treat each employee just like we’ve learned to treat a customer. Get to know what they’re really after and help them find their way.