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The Impact Millennials Will Have on the Business World

Ron Holm, Trainer — Max Sacks Int'l

• sales practices • sales management • sales management styles in distribution • sales training • millennials

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How are you preparing for the changing workforce? By 2020, Millennials will represent the largest working age group.

In this video interview, I sat down with Ron Holm of MaxSacks International and discussed the impact that Millennials will have on the business world as well as a new WayPoint-specific training program that will help clients adjust to these changing demographics.

It's safe to say that Millennials are the future, although I didn't realize how near that future I was until I attended a conference last year where I learned that Millennials would overtake the workforce, in terms of population, within the next five years. It's not just that our company will have a lot of Millennials, but we also need to be aware that our customers' companies will be staffed by a lot of Millennials as well.

If we, as business leaders, don't become cognizant of this generation's importance and start utilizing its power we risk becoming disconnected from our customers. In some cases, this could mean selling our way back into our old accounts because our contacts have either retired or moved into different roles in the company. Not only do we need to understand Millennials, but we need to get them to ready in our own organizations so we can pass the torch. Part of that involves providing professional sales training.

"Millennials tend to bring a fairly genuine interest in getting better at what they do in service to others," Ron explained. "However, they tend to be more discerning about the methods. There are sales processes from the 1970s and 80s that the Millennials reject which include the alternate choice close, the impending event close, and other sales tactics which were designed to coerce or manipulate the prospect. These methods don't appeal to the integrity and the honesty that the Millennials want to live."

It's a mistake to assume that Millennials can just be trained in the same way as past generations. Millennials are highly educated, very technically oriented, and they tend to favor collaborative approaches. More Millennials have gone to college than any generation before only to enter a workforce that doesn't have many jobs. So it's been our good fortune that many of these educated and skilled workers have been entering the sales force.

The downside is that Millennials won't always respond well to the old training methods such as having one of the older guys give them a handful of pointers before shoving them out the door. They're going to be a lot more appreciative and responsive to proper formal sales training, something that a lot of companies just can't provide. This is why it makes sense to rent a "professor of sales" to help continue their education and make sure that they have a wide range of skills in place.

"We like to say that school is never out for the sales professional," Ron replied. "For those employers that engender that type of continuing education, continuing growth, refinement, that becomes very appealing to the Millennials. In our workshops, we'll have salespeople in their 20s and 30s who've been out there doing some right things and have also been doing some wrong things."

"These are salespeople who have seen some success," Ron continued, "but really want to know what they should be doing more of and what shouldn't they be doing because it doesn't work. We provide these salespeople with the process and methods that help them be successful so they go out and do great things."

For more information about Ron Holm, visit: www.maxsacks.com/people/ronholm.html