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Debunking Millennial Sales Myths, Part Deux

In a recent blog post, Debunking Millennial Sales Myths, I discussed how misconceptions about millennial sellers are not only annoying, but dangerous. Based on the feedback we’ve received on this series about millennials, it’s evident that most readers aren’t drowning in Millennial Mania, but crave perspectives about how to separate generational myths from fact.

We were fortunate to have numerous experts weigh in with impactful advice – so much so that I felt compelled to offer a “Part Deux.” Here are the opinions of two favorite experts, China Gorman and Bruce Tulgan:

China Gorman: Millennials in sales – or any other function – are often misunderstood. Employers all over the world think millennials are flakey – not committed, quick to leave when things don’t go their way and more interested in “good works” than “good jobs.” According to recent research by research/employer branding consultancy Universum, the reason millennials are seen as “job hoppers” and uncommitted is because they feel very insecure in their employment situations. Job insecurity – fear of job loss – has a negative impact on commitment, effort, creativity and, obviously, retention. Universum research also indicates millennials are fearful of getting “stuck,” and so they have a strong focus on developmental opportunities. It isn’t development for development’s sake – it’s development to ensure tenure and employability.

The Universum analysis suggests that stating purpose early and often, making “fit” a priority, and making large organizations seem small and nimble will go a long way in reducing the fear based thinking of the millennial generation. In other words, creating a human relationship between sales millennials and their bosses may well reduce fear while increasing productivity, commitment and tenure.

Bruce Tulgan: We’ve been tracking young people in the workplace since 1993. Our research shows that it’s simply a myth that millennials are disloyal and have short attention spans. The reality is that, today, we live in a world in which relationships are governed by an increasingly short-term and transactional logic. That’s true for people of all ages. But millennials have never known it any other way. They are wired to seek short-term rewards for short-term desired behavior.

About China Gorman:

China Gorman is a successful global business executive in the competitive Human Capital Management (HCM) sector. She is a sought-after advisor and speaker bringing the CEO perspective to the challenges of building cultures of humanity for top performance and innovation. Well known for her tenure as CEO of the Great Place to Work® Institute, COO and interim CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and President of Lee Hecht Harrison, China works with HCM organizations all over the world to enhance their brands and their go-to-market strategies.

About Bruce Tulgan:

Bruce Tulgan is the founder of RainmakerThinking, Inc., a management consulting firm.  He is a sought-after keynote speaker, management trainer and an adviser to business leaders all over the world. He is the author of numerous books, including NOT EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY; HOW TO MANAGE THE MILLENNIALS.