Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Lessons From Old Movies - December 3, 2016

It’s funny that the topic of a few old movies came up this week, because this is the time of year where I thoroughly enjoy watching old movies. Once a year I sit, typically by myself (my wife & kids don’t enjoy these movies), and watch White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, Wall Street, Glengarry Glen Ross, and several others. I know what you’re thinking, “a bizarre mix of movies, huh”. Well, these are a bizarre mix. You see, some of these are old favorites with White Christmas probably being my most liked, but the others are just movies I feel the need to watch once a year. My wife even went to far as to call me an “old soul”.


I feel a bit of nostalgia when I watch these movies. Even though I work in the digital arena most days, there’s something about these older movies, especially those from the 1940’s and 1950’s, that allow my imagination to run wild a bit. I can almost imagine being in my career during this time. There are several reasons for why, so I speculate, but the personal interaction element is the single-most.


For the past few weeks I have done a fair amount of reading and have participated in several presentations about working with millennials. Generally speaking, these topics have been around employing millennials, what they want from an employment perspective, etc. However, none focused much on the expectations an employer should have from hiring/employing a millennial, and none especially touched upon those entering the field of sales. So, I went out in search of information on my own, scouring the Internet. I read a blog article here and there, but none really pointed me in any direction with guidance for the sales manager.


What I did find was a bit disheartening. The young generation of sales people seem less concerned about meeting with prospects and clients face-to-face, rather expect the sales process to be easy, quick, and financially beneficial. There is a lack (or perceived lack) of interest in a young sales person wanting to develop a personal relationship with the client.


I guess the reason I like older movies, those that pre-date the cell phone, really comes down to this: if you wanted to engage in a conversation with someone, you had to do it face-to-face. There was no hiding. And, when I think of my own sales career, I truly believe I’ve been successful because I have always relied on my ability to communicate one-on-one, face-to-face where building a relationship with a person was step one to the remainder of the sales process.


I’m keeping this post brief this week, in essence ending here with a question, and hoping you’ll participate by answering. My post next week will be the follow-up. How do you guide a millennial sales person toward success?

Comments are closed