Gen Y Infiltrators & Outside Perception: Who We Are Defined by Who They Are

I love to link articles posted by business leaders navigating in the ever increasing Gen Y Space. Here is a post from one of my RSS Feeds. by Paul Castain. Enjoy!

Next up: Millennial Management 101.

Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) and has more than 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached more 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals.

An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011.

Posted Friday, May 7, 2010 by SalesPop

Bridging the generational gap is tough in any industry. More so when it comes to the senior ranking employees facing a realization that the junior-level staffers may be more “in-tune” with new social technologies that will help drive sales and increase efficiency. At the same time, the junior-level realizes the height of the totum pole and the slow climb to the top, ackowledging their senior-level peers knowledge and industry wit.

Paul Castain, VP of sales development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX), discussed his experience as a Gen Y infilatrator, pointing out lessons learned and steps to work within a generational divide.

And here are a few pointers from Paul:

1. Houston We Have A Freakin Problem

The problem is this need to try and change them instead of working with the landscape we’ve been given. Sure we could insist that they must embrace the old ways, or we could enter their world and teach them how to work smarter within those parameters. We see others getting caught up in this endless criticism of this generation ranging from work ethic to attire and all points in between. Please understand something and know this will sound shallow. There’s no money in that discussion for you!

2. Respect By Virtue of Age or Experience . . . Think again!

One thing dramatically different about this generation is that they don’t give automatic respect to those with the title, experience or dare we say their elders;  they give it to those who are the contributors to the organization. The ones who earn it!

3. Because They Grew Up With Technology . . . they love innovation!

Sales Managers: How can you leverage that? How can you include them in the process? It may also mean that at times they are going to be relying too much on the technology. It may even mean that they have more of a clue than you do with regard to technology and you (yes you) are clinging too much to the days of yesteryear. Sales Reps Selling To Generation Y: How can YOU leverage this with your clients?

4. The True Jedi’s Will Know How To Lead (and kick the proverbial arse) Across Multi Generations

Ladies and gentlemen, our work force is living longer and they are working longer (quite frankly because they have to). We’re already seeing a huge age range from early 20’s to 60+. In our lifetime, we WILL see that number go dramatically beyond 60. That creates a need. A need for people who have a clue in how to manage across multi generations. And there’s no need to wait for that, because the need already exists now.

5. When Generation Y’s Sell To The Older Folk

When selling to what experts call the “Oldeus Farteous” understand that you might get called out on your age. Whether that situation stresses you or not, you had better prepare for it. Suggestion: Understand that it’s always difficult to address age so instead, you speak about your experience. If that doesn’t work, feel free to break glass in case of emergency and use this bad boy: “Truth be told Ms Customer, is that a rep could have a kazillion years of experience and still fall short where it counts and that’s delivering results. Maybe because of your perception of my age, that gives me added incentive to prove you wrong and deliver those results for you. Either way, it’s a chance. We suspect it’s the same chance someone took on you when you first started your career”

6. When The Older Folk Sell To Generation Y

Please forgive me for stating the painfully obvious, but Generation Y’s are rapidly moving into leadership/influencing positions.  Armed with that knowledge, we had better learn how they tick, how they communicate and where they like to spend their online time. We need to start showing up in places like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. Why? Because at a minimum, it provides you with a free “listening station” and an incredible opportunity to learn. It helps you get and keep your finger on the pulse and most of all (if you learn how to master this space) it will get you noticed!

7. Generation Y (and this isn’t a criticism) Expects Their Career To Advance Faster Than We Did

Some look at that as a lack of patience. Once again, there’s no money in that type of critique. I see it as a sense of urgency that as a sales professional, if we can help them attain that quicker, we become more valuable. I guess your million dollar question now becomes “In what ways can I help them look like rock stars so they move to that next level quicker?”

8. They Are Less Confrontational

There’s a lot that we could say to this point but will take it in a much simpler direction. We’ve all heard the old saying that “People like people like themselves” That’s our cue to embrace our inner “its all good”. Take it down a notch or three.

9. Lectures and “When I was your age” rants

Don’t go there. I’ve been that guy too many times and it just doesn’t fly.

10. They are socially conscious and “green”

To that end, you need to be prepared to be questioned by this generation on your company’s involvement or position on green initiatives.

3 Responses to “Gen Y Infiltrators & Outside Perception: Who We Are Defined by Who They Are”
  1. Paul Castain says:

    Just a quick note to say “thanks” for posting this on your site.

    Paul Castain

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