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How To Teach Millennials to Sell Greatly

We’ve all heard, and maybe experienced, the Millennials’ challenge with face-to-face, interpersonal communication. Sure they can text and converse on social media but “they don’t answer their phones” and “they can’t hold a conversation in person.”

Which begs the question, how will their style of communication hold up in the world of sales, which depends so much on interpersonal relationships and the soft skills that make that possible? Let’s face it, people buy from people.

And more importantly, what can companies do today in terms of sales training to ensure the next generation of salespeople are as effective as they can possibly be when it comes time to turn conversations into customers.

Millennials Are Better Equipped to Sell Greatly Than You Realize

Millennials are far more comfortable with the technology and approaches commonly referred to as Social Selling than their older counterparts. And given that so much of today’s sales prospecting, nurturing and even closing takes place in a virtual world, that’s a good thing.

But, there is a difference between technical platform/technique proficiency and truly developing the soft skills required to nurture a lead, get a prospect to agree to that first call and then stand before a sales prospect and make a convincing sales pitch. That requires the ability to listen, build and nurture relationships and superior written and spoken communications skills.

But having trained both older and younger generations in the art and science of Social Selling, I can tell you, it’s often harder to teach the technical side than the human side of selling in today’s digital first world.

Sell Greatly: The Softer Skills

Ok, so now that we’ve established that Millennials have the technology chops to Sell Greatly, let’s address the elephant in the blog post: they can’t hold a face-to-face conversation.

With all due respect to Millennials everywhere, while yes, there are exceptions to every rule, by and large, this one is 100% dead on accurate. Whether just a general uncomfortableness with face-to-face communications, inability to put your phones away or ignore incoming beeps and dings, or simple things like look a person in the eye and speak confidently when you speak to them, there is a lot of room for improvement.

But the good news is, Millennials can not only do it, they’ll likely enjoy the challenge of doing it and the rewards that come with successfully mastering the softer sales skills that us old timers know really are what make a successful salesperson.

3 Millennial Friendly Sell Greatly Ideals

The best part about teaching Millennials to Sell Greatly is that often it’s less about teaching and more about linking the lessons to already strongly held beliefs. Let me show you what I mean.

A Culture Of Respect
Traditional sales approaches place the seller in competition with the buyer in a zero sum game where one wins or loses the negotiation. Millennials are cooperative vs competitive in nature. Luckily, when teaching folks to Sell Greatly we emphasize that our job as salespeople isn’t to sell but to educate — specifically to help the buyer complete their education and make the right buying decision for their specific need at this time.

It’s an approach that is grounded in respecting both the seller’s and buyer’s role in the process.

Good Guys/Gals Don’t Finish Last
Picking up on the cooperation vs competition mindset… sales has historically been premised on type A people competing against each other to be the #1 sales person… to always be closing, etc. While that may have attracted the Boomer salesperson and maybe even the GenX salesperson, it’s a turnoff for Millennials.

Here again though, the Sell Greatly approach is perfectly suited to today’s Millennial salesperson. Instead of always be closing, Sell Greatly teaches to always be connecting. The goal is always first and foremost to build a relationship. In some cases a transaction or hopefully multiple transactions over the lifetime of the relationship will occur. But even if they don’t, there is inherent value in the relationship. Who knows, the person might even turn into a Social Agent, which can actually be the most valuable contact that never does business with you.

Getting Face-to-Face Meetings
One of the challenges with Millennials is their fear of the phone. They’ll email you, text you, or hit you up on social media, in an effort to secure that all important first meeting. But sometimes you just have to pick up a phone or find a way to bump into a prospect at a networking event.

Again, the Sell Greatly approach helps Millennials with this all important skillset by showing them how to leverage the power of Social Reconnaissance (something they’re very comfortable with executing) to make it far easier and more comfortable to make that call or plan that incidental contact.

By showing them how to use information and relationship building techniques together with the simple goal of starting a relationship with the sales prospect, Sell Greatly empowers Millennial salespeople to leverage their natural digital skillset to create better real world sales outcomes.

Want To Teach Your Millennial Salesforce How To Sell Greatly?

Drop us a line and we’ll talk about it. 

The Invisible Sale

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About Tom Martin

Tom is 20+ year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and digital gadgets that helps digitally challenged companies create innovative and effective digital marketing strategies. He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. Tom guides clients through the digital marketing maze and helps companies teach their sales force how to Painlessly Prospect their way to more sales. Connect with him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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