Today’s Trends in Sales and Construction

One of the greatest challenges for Millennials is debunking the stigma of their generation.  Much of this is related to their work ethic; the lower ranking of this peer group is associated with entitlement and assumes that they have little life experience. 

However, they are proving that they get regular work done, but in a different way. Unlike baby boomers, they were raised in front of computer screens. As they adapted, so did their university curriculum, fostering a digital state-of-mind. Students needed to be prepared for jobs that would inevitably demand a digital brain. 

While Millennials are sometimes viewed as a threat to the traditional baby boomer workplace, we’re learning that baby boomers and Millennials actually have quite a lot in common, according to Forbes. [1]

“Some of the exaggerations of conflicting views come from vast differences in approach to communication and work that are more style than substance. Yes, Millennials prefer texting over phone calls and take a more informal approach to work attire. They have a relaxed attitude toward work hours and place less importance on when and where the job gets done.”[1]

“Those stylistic differences hide the fact that Baby Boomers and Millennials have more in common than we might think. A George Washington University study2 found that stereotypes about Millennials are more often than not rooted in myth. When you dig deeper, this and another study by IBM3 conclude, the two generations mostly share fundamental values about work and ethics.”[1]

This is good news for many workplaces as Millennial values will continue to change traditional workplaces.  “It is estimated that Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025.”

Millennials Entering Sales in Construction

There are many reasons why construction companies have begun to actively attract digitally enhanced Millennials to help in sales positions. 

Sustainability Aptitude 

Many Millennials are passionate about issues of sustainability. Sustainability is also becoming the norm in construction and Millennial salespeople can use the topic for an easier sell to customers. This brings value to buyers, especially young ones. The details are attractive to the potential buyer because they want to know exactly what they’re investing in. and they want to know what it will do for the world around them.[5]

“Increasingly, people are focused on sustainability, so the most successful companies are also focusing on sustainability. This is a terrific way to appeal to the Millennials, and of course, it is also much better for the world as a whole. For this reason, it is very likely that most, if not all, construction companies will place a strong focus on sustainability. While it is still important to find the best product for the job, it is likely that managers will look for products that have a focus on ecological benefits, such as living walls that provide an area with fresh oxygen.”

Reverse Mentoring 

In the past, young generations were often trained by older ones. Today, in industries including construction, that’s changing, according to the Guardian. [4]

“Other things Millennials value in the workplace are “reverse mentoring” – the opportunity to teach skills to older colleagues as well as learn from them – and more time spent discussing new ways of working, mentoring and developing leadership skills. It is this that Chris Gale, 21, has found so enjoyable about his job as a public sector auditor at Grant Thornton, the financial consultants.” 

“He is able to offer social media coaching to older colleagues, which he sees as valuable experience: “I mean for someone my age it’s rare to be in a position where I’m sat down with a senior partner showing them how to develop their online profile, and I just don’t think that kind of role reversal would have happened a few years ago.”

Reverse mentoring helps Millennials bring new sales tactics to traditional construction teams. It’s not just Millennials using their power, it’s also about sharing their power with those who need it most.

Upgraded Communication Style

“Millennials are also notably more informal than their older counterparts. This doesn’t mean they’re impolite — on the contrary, they’re more conflict-averse than older generations — but they typically favor a more casual demeanor and communication style, in stark contrast to the more scripted salespeople of old. This makes them great candidates for sales roles, especially those built around the discovery and development of new business relationships.”[6]

If those in construction want to recruit the brightest millennials, they’ll have to do some work, according to CMIC Global. [7]

“The combination of shifting values and increased access to technology has caused millennials to look for different things in their workplaces. They’ve grown up in a world that champions innovation and they’ve seen new technologies disrupt entire industries. They have a strong critical eye that questions tradition and they look for new ways to solve problems.”

“This mentality can be incredibly beneficial for construction companies, especially those focused on digital transformation. But it can be a challenge when it comes to hiring and attracting talent. The best way to recruit millennials is to show that your construction company is forward-thinking and innovative. To do that, construction firms need to embrace technology. Too many firms use outdated software or rely on paper – an alarm bell for those in their 20s and 30s. To millennials, outdated technology makes companies look old-fashioned.”

[1] Beheshti, N. “The Clash Of The Baby Boomers And Millennials: How Can We All Get Along?” Forbes, November 29, 2018.
[2] Mitchell, Kristen. Millennial Stereotypes Often Rooted in Myth. GW Today, June 16, 2017.
[3] Grady, Bill. “New Study May Surprise You About How Millennials Work.” Forbes, March 12, 2015.
[4] Gani, A. “Millennials at work: five stereotypes – and why they are (mostly) wrong.” The Guardian, March 15, 2016.
[5] Heigl, C. “7 Major Trends That Will Impact the Construction Industry.” Construct Connect, August 8, 2018.
[6] Carter, S. “Millennials are Killing the Business Development Role (in a Good Way).” Peak Sales Recruiting, March 8, 2019.
[7] “Millennial Values are Re-Shaping the Construction Industry.” CMIC Global, July 14, 2017.