Companies want to succeed in selling their products and services – and do so profitably. Sadly, there are too many stories of self-interest in getting the best possible outcome for an individual rather than the companies involved. To achieve a personal goal, an employee might be overpromising and glazing over possible issues and shortcomings. This is likely to leave the buyer feel short changed, resulting in a disillusioned customer relationship and a decrease in loyalty.

This behaviour is impacting the reputation of all sales and business development people. Negatively. And even though it’s on the decline, the stories are still in people’s minds. On the flipside: customers are now looking at reviews, speaking to others who have purchased a product or service and requesting a trial or putting some form of safeguarding into the contract. This is very time consuming and inefficient.

But there is a better way: transparency and partnerships.

Transparency

Being open and honest with your customers: talking about issues or shortcomings and what is being done to overcome these.

Partnerships

Making deals in partnership, meaning both parties profit from it. What used to be known as win/win, but should really be the normal way of doing business.

It’s time to root for transparency and partnerships instead of one-sided business deals and short changes.

Employing this strategy leads to profitable deals, strengthened relationships and increased loyalty. As well as a mutual respect for the parties involved. It’s simple business ethics that’s sadly fallen off the road somewhere. And it’s the millennials picking it up! Their need for information and questioning everything before doing something is helping the corporate world to become human. To realize that in the end it’s always down to people: owners, stakeholders, employees, buyers, partners, media, marketing – all run by individuals.

Millennials are also called Gen Y, and whether that’s down to coming after Gen X or whether it was chosen on purpose for their questioning natures, it fits. Sometimes the constant questions are exhausting those of older generations (sometimes even their peers), it feels like a roadblock to progress. But there’s sense in this approach: millennials are about fair deals, life balance and social justice. They’re less profit driven and more interested in an approach that gives back to everyone. And if that takes more time to sort out that’s ok with them.

The generations before learned ‘’It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt”; millennials aren’t afraid of momentary discomfort if it means they gain a better understanding. In my experience: too often questions are unasked and we make too many assumptions – only realizing after something we did wrong. The beauty of hindsight. Gen Y is trying to lead with foresight.

It’s time to stop dissing millennials and help them in their endeavour to change the world for the better.