How to motivate millennials in the motor industry


I was recently contacted by a dealer principal who asked whether I was willing to coach and mentor a team of millennials. The feedback I received was they wanted something different than what's currently on offer in the market place.

I'd like to share the approach I used which was received with excitement by the team, in the hope that it may give you some ideas as well.

First and foremost, I set the scene by helping them to understand that we are dealing with customers who have different motivations for buying. They may all use the product in slightly different ways and for different purposes. However, they have one objective when they walk through your door – to purchase a motor vehicle (sorry, I know I am stating the obvious). I helped them to think differently by asking - So what's your job as a sales person? And for them to consider that their role is to help the customer in their buying decision and make it relatively easy. Therefore, understanding people is a critical pre-requisite skill set to succeed in sales.

Let me share some facts about millennials? (and let's leave out all the negative presuppositions)

  • We know they were born between 1980-2000
  • Started using technology the minute they could walk and talk
  • They are socially conscious
  • Take advantage of technology
  • Generally social media mavens
  • They want to know how quick they can get promoted
  • Are sponges when it comes to learning – craving for information

Question is…. how do we motivate them to want to learn?

  1. Understand their preferred method of learning - blended always works best (face to face, online, reflection activities, teamwork amongst their peers)
  2. Make it fun and interactive – learning was never meant to be boring. The more fun it is, the more they will want to learn
  3. Content – it's not about standard processes, it's about delving deeper. Subject matter such as emotional intelligence, how to build effective connections with people, effective listening skills, understanding their customer, selling to different cultures…

This is where the point of difference is. The more tailored the approach the more successful the outcome. You can never have one solution for multiple businesses. You can however have one solution for a group of people. Knowing how to get the best out of your team? Critical. Understanding their motivators and what's important to them? Mandatory.

Corporate environments that care more about the numbers or the short- term gains will never be able to keep great people and will always lose out in the end.

Do you have young upcomers in your dealership and want to support them to grow and develop, using their unique skill set to propel you forward? Contact me to learn more about my Millennials in Drive program and how we can tailor it to meet your needs.

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