Does Character Really Count When you need Millennial Salespeople to Grow Your Sales?
Have you ever tried filling a cracked pot with water? It’s impossible, frustrating, and exhausting. The water keeps running out through the cracks. If your emerging sales leader has character cracks, this is what you will experience.
How can you strengthen your millennial sales leader’s character core?
You can train, coach and mentor. If there’s no solid base, (a strong character core) your best efforts will go to waste.
In The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni shares this powerful truth about accountability. He says, “To hold someone accountable is to care about them enough to risk having them blame you for pointing out their deficiencies.”
I challenge business leaders to take that risk in a recent Forbes article.
“Character development is an intentional journey. The leader or mentor plays a vital role in helping the millennial sales leader build a solid character core.”~ Danita Bye
In the Forbes article, I share Steve’s story. His lack of accountability caused him to lose his prospect’s trust – and the sale. Accountability and trust are two of the cornerstones of a solid character. Many research studies confirm that salespeople do not automatically garner feelings of trust with their clients.
I read an article on the findings of a December 2017 Gallup poll. They rated the honesty and ethical standards of 22 occupations. They report that nurses earned the top spot for the 16th consecutive year. A full 82 percent of participants rated them “very high/high”. This is in stark contrast to only ten percent of car salespeople who earned that rating. (The lowest rating went to lobbyists at eight percent!)
What might you do to empower your next-gen sales leader to become a trusted resource?
Coaching and mentoring your up-and-coming sales leader counts
In Millennials Matter, I spotlight the steps that leaders can take to guide next-gen leaders on their character journey. Here are some additional insights you can use to turn your millennial sales leader into a trusted resource:
Professional training is a winning sales strategy
Our research shows that professionally trained salespeople put the customer first. They ask questions and listen. They only follow up when it has been agreed on. They use non-manipulative strategies and approaches. Untrained salespeople often put themselves first. They exaggerate, push, and cause people to feel uncomfortable and pressured.
Remind your salespeople to do the following during a sales conversation:
- Focus on the client, not on yourself or your agenda
- Listen without pre-judging
- Show curiosity without supposing the answer
Hire millennial salespeople with high integrity, who possess the strengths and competencies required for sales success. By adding professional sales training you will be able to provide them with the necessary skills to build trust and credibility.
Mentoring Matters to your Millennial Sales Leader
Building a highly successful sales career almost always requires the help of a coach, role model or cheerleader. In other words, a mentor. Just look at some of the benefits you can offer:
- Experience and wisdom when they face ethical challenges
- An insider’s take on their career path
- An encouraging and motivating influence in an environment that is sometimes harsh and unforgiving
Here’s the good news: 79 percent[i] of Millennials say they want a mentor or a coach. That means you already have fertile soil where you can sow seeds of wisdom, experience, and guidance.
Will you risk taking Patrick Lencioni’s advice? Show the Millennial in your life that you care about their character development. Take up my challenge to stop complaining and start mentoring your next-gen sales leader today.
Leadership Lesson: Develop accountability and trustworthiness in your Millennial sales leader to ensure sales success.
Leadership Question: How are you making a difference in your up-and-coming sales leader’s character journey?
(i) Source Gallup, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, Bailey Nelson, 8/30/16