Mind the Generational Gap
"The buyer typically has fewer suppliers they trust and are more loyal than those who are just starting their careers," he observed. "The buyer also feels more confident in knowing their products and don't need to be sold as much, so it's more about the connection that has been developed."
Millennials have successful sales techniques as well. Millennial salespeople possess what Farquharson calls "the gift of naïveté." They are not limited by constraints that might weigh down Baby Boomers and, instead, are free to imagine new solutions.
"[Millennial salespeople] see print as one solution, and not necessarily the only solution," Farquharson explained. "They are able to consider other forms of communication. This, coupled with a consultative selling approach, is a powerful combination."
Kollmann has seen the Millennial sales approach generate positive results in terms of buyer happiness. "Millennial salespeople—based on the characteristics of their generation—are more apt to understand the need of the buyer, assuming they will give them the time to interface with them," she commented. "Some of the best millennial salespeople take the time to understand what the buyer is really looking for, and offer them solutions that will be the most helpful, even if they have less impact on what the salesperson is earning."
Abbett found the Millennial's ease with technology the most advantageous. In fact, he expressed that the Millennials' use of web exposure is a company's best introduction to potential buyers.
"[Millenials] understand the importance of social media. Some people I know usually have a minimum of two social sites, and prospective buyers can learn just about anything about them with a few computer keystrokes. Most new buyers will not talk before checking you out via Google, LinkedIn or Facebook," Abbett remarked.
If not careful, however, both generations can get caught making critical sales mistakes. Farquharson felt that young sales representatives are "much more likely to send an email as a first step than an introductory letter." This could signify an over reliance on email communication.