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Culture Shock: Generations At Work

Millenials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers: How to manage generational challenges at work

The workspace is a blend of generations at the moment. We have Baby Boomers and Millennials sharing office and thinking space throughout most of the country. If you ask the internets, these generations, and the ones caught in the middle, are not meant to mix. They’re oil and water; fast food and diets; 2 A.M. and good decisions.

One of the biggest differences among generations is the technique used in a sales position.

The old-school approach involves pounding pavement, door knocking and cold calling. There’s either a fearlessness or a numbness to the door/phone slamming that naturally accompany such an approach. It’s expected as part of the job. The activity is almost an endurance test; assuming you have a good technique, knock on enough doors, call enough people, you will eventually get a sale. Rinse. Repeat. It undeniably works, or worked. But there’s a new kid in town.

The new-school folk consider cold calling a special kind of torture. There’s a whole generation or more of people looking to communicate with as little actual talking as possible. Instead, they prefer to convey everything in e-mails, texts, or any kind of passively consumed platform. They don’t like even a whiff of having to be “pushy”.

Here’s the twist: we are not in an “either/or” world when it comes to sales.

Your customers, like your employees, most likely come from both worlds, so you need to speak to both worlds in their native languages. Success in sales comes from a happy marriage of digital marketing and good old-fashion cold calling.

Making sure your sales incorporates the most effective strategies for your intended audiences requires a kind of bi-lingualism that is completely new. As difficult as it is to connect with your customers, it is ten times as easy to alienate them, and word can spread fast when that happens. A bad website. A weak message. A false promise. A lack of deliverables.

Any crack in the hull of authenticity can sink your sales ship.

So, don’t get left behind and don’t chase shiny objects. Get your sales strategy to walk the tightrope of old and new schools of thought to make it across to the other side.

We aren’t the only ones who think that generations can play nicely together. Take a look at what GM has to say about it.

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