September 1, 2017

#558. A Millennial Sales Rep Joins Us to Talk about Selling. With Bridget Gleason.

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.


[2:15] Bridget — who feels fantastic today, and just had a great family reunion — is joined by special guest Josh Phillips, head of the account management team at in Tel Aviv. Josh is on the customer front line for technical help and other needs. [7:06] There are a lot of people skills in sales, and a lot of sales aspects in nearly every job. Josh says his generation is used to short-term targets and goals. Sales speaks to his generation.

[8:23]  Josh is from Manchester, United Kingdom. Andy and Josh bond over the Red Devils and the Romelu Lukaku transfer. Being a striker in football is just like being a sales guy. You’re the pointy end of the stick, and you need to be consistent.

[9:47] Josh says the stereotype of Millennial entitlement is real, for a specific reason. He talks about the educational process of constant targets to hit, for which you get Pavlovian rewards.

[13:58] Josh tells tips he learned getting his Master’s: If you only do as you’re told, you’ll excel; but that doesn’t work in the office. Millennials are surprised to be micromanaged; their supervisors are surprised Millennials want to be unsupervised.

[15:56] Andy says Boomers and Gen Xers misinterpret Millennials. Millennials want to know why things have to be ‘this way.’ That is motivated curiosity, not entitlement. They believe more in a meritocracy.

[18:01] Bridget agrees with the concept of meritocracy, and contrasts that with the Boomer mentality of ‘doing the time’ for the eventual reward. Millennial impatience is a good thing.

[19:45] Josh says technology increases transparency for a workplace of meritocracy. CRM lets everyone see everyone else’s work. Andy and Bridget remember the ever-present sales board. There has always been a ranking.

[21:29] Josh knows very few people who have been six years at one company. Andy notes that people not making their numbers were dropped quickly. You qualified to go to training.

[27:22] Josh says, the more tech comes into sales, the more it distracts the process. The customer buys the person, and the benefits they sell, not the product.

[28:58] Buyers think the Millennials are great at tech, but not as good at connecting with people. Josh says knowledge doesn’t close a deal. Bridget taught him not to have ‘happy ears.’ Proper listening is critical to selling.

[31:16] Technology can only replace some aspects of sales. Successful sales reps will be more human. Josh does not see his customers, so he looks into their social profile.

[32:34] Josh uses video on conferences sometimes. If the customer turns on the video feed, so does Josh. Some only want to chat or do email.