To truly reach Millennials, distributors have to be able to speak their language.

“Their attitude about how they interact [via technology] is going to be brought to the workplace,” says Wendover, “not only in terms of dealing with customers but with sales managers as well.”

As a result training needs to be technology-based.
“Millennials don’t want to sit in a classroom and listen to somebody tell war stories,” says Wendover. “They want you to provide something online that they can watch and interact with — it might even be a video game.”

Training materials should also be portable so it can be taken on the road or pulled up during a sales meeting, says Wendover. Instead of a book, Millennials will be more responsive to accessing the information on a tablet or smartphone.

To get Millennial reps to understand and appreciate the products they are selling, distributors need a robust Website with videos, testimonials, case studies and more, says Wendover.

“If I hire someone who’s 28, I’ve got ask myself, ‘What does that person want in their resources to learn my products and believe in my products?’ They also need to be able to use that information to talk to the customer in a way that the customer connects with and the sales rep believes in,” says Wendover. “Everything goes back to the Website.”

Distributors also need to use social media to attract and support next-generation sales reps.

“One of the most important things companies can do to appeal to Millennials is have access to interactive social media,” says Newton. “They need to get current with these tools because that’s the language and preferred communication mode for the younger generations.”

Despite the appeal of technology, Newton cautions distributors not to forego in-person training.

“This younger generation is very coachable, but you have to give them real examples of how things work,” she says. “Peer-to-peer mentoring, team-based learning activities, and role-play of selling skills really help with the younger generation.”

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