What does your Millennial Leader think about Politeness?

What does your Millennial Leader think about Politeness?

“Encourage Millennials to be polite– it fuels your sales growth efforts.”
~ Danita Bye


I asked a group of young sales leaders I’m mentoring to review the manuscript of my latest book, Millennials Matter.  They shared their thoughts on respect, basic good manners and being polite.  Here are some of the responses:

​“Is it disrespectful to interrupt someone when I have a ‘brilliant’ idea that just can’t wait?  I didn’t realize!”

“As a group, we don’t value punctuality as much as the previous generation, and we don’t think of it as being disrespectful.” 

I think it’s okay to check my iPhone in the middle of a meeting.  I do it very discreetly.”

Does this sound familiar? 

I often hear about the frustrations and challenges CEO’s and business owners experience as they coach and mentor their future sales hunters to grow their business. One of their complaints is that Millennials don’t know the meaning of the word,  politeness.

What does your up-and-coming sales leader say about politeness?

POLITENESS is the fourth action step to help you develop Respecting Others as part of your Relationship Wiring. 

Our RESPECT acronym (react, encourage, sensitivity, politeness, extraordinary kindness, considerate, timeliness) is a useful guide to model respect and collaboration to your Millennial sales leader.

Being polite means having good manners, which are often neglected in our fast-paced high-tech society. For example, does your up-and-coming sales leader remember to do the simplest things, like saying please and thank you? The list of “how to be polite” is endless, but today I’m focusing on a crucial aspect, the sales conversation with a new prospect.  This first introductory conversation can make or break the beginning of the sales process.

Here are 3 action steps to use as you coach and mentor your emerging sales leader on conducting a polite conversation with a new business prospect:

1.  First Impressions Last

Encourage your Millennial leader to smile, shake hands firmly and make eye contact when greeting a new prospect. Have you experienced how your body language and tone of voice weigh much more than the actual words of your conversation? Give your inexperienced sales leader the opportunity to practice this important first meeting with a more experienced colleague so that it is second nature by the time the meeting with a new prospect takes place.

2.  Multitasking is a myth

Our brains were not designed to multitask.  Many researchers are now referring to multitasking as a myth. They say it’s only an illusion that we are doing more than one thing at a time.  We are in actual fact switching from one task to the other.  Some people are better at it than others, leading them to believe they are “good” at multitasking.  In the end, it’s counter-productive and energy sapping, let alone not a very polite thing to do.  For example, tell your up-and-coming sales leader that it’s a rule that all phones should be switched off during meetings – and make sure you always stick to the rule at all times.

3.  Don’t Interrupt

Interrupting a new prospect, even when your sales leader has a brilliant idea, is not only impolite, but it kills sensitivity, rapport and commitment.  Remind your up-and-coming sales leader to allow the prospect to fully voice his or her fears, pains and needs, while listening carefully to what is being said. Our Sales GPS Program includes a coaching component that focuses on strategic listening and mastery to increase the competencies of your sales people. Listening is an important skill to mastery, which is part of the Hunting, Qualifying and Closing Competencies. Check out this Free Sales Test to see how your sales person scores on these competencies.

To read the series from the beginning go here

Politeness improves our relationships with others. It will help your up-and-coming sales leader to build rapport with colleagues and clients.  This positive behavior will be noticed and complimented and in turn boost his or her self-esteem and confidence to crack new accounts.

In the next post, I’ll tell you how Extraordinary Kindness, the fifth word in our acronym, RESPECT, can assist your Millennial to nurture respectful relationships.

Leadership lesson:   Politeness improves relationships and will increase the capabilities of your sales leader so that he or she can consistently meet and exceed your strategic growth objectives.

Leadership question: What is your Millennial sales leader’s understanding of being polite?

​​© Copyright Danita Bye, 2017

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