By Lisa Orrell, CPC
For sellers to more successfully engage, attract and develop new customer relationships, it’s important to be aware of this interesting fact shared by J. Walker Smith, Ph.D. and Ann Clurman, co-authors of the book, “Rocking the Ages,” “Generationally determined lifestyles and social values exercise as much influence on buying and purchasing as more commonly understood demographic factors like income, education, and gender do – maybe even more.”
Millennials (aka Gen Y), Generation X and Baby Boomers each prefer to be engaged with differently. And it’s critical that sellers educate themselves on these preferences as it can greatly improve the results of their sales and marketing efforts.
However, Millennials are not only the newest generation of young adult consumers, they are the most unique. Thus, they’re worth learning about. Here are some fast facts: They are called Millennials due to their coming-of-age at around the turn of the millenium; there are 85 million of them (born approximately between 1980 and 2000), making them the largest generation the U.S. history; and by 2025, 75 percent of the U.S. workforce.
As a result, not only will sellers and employers be working with them more as colleagues, but they’re going to be heavily competing for them as customers.
There are many ways to attract, engage and build brand-loyalty with this unique generation. Here are three examples:
- They Respect Giving Back: The Millennials are the first generation required to volunteer in their communities as a high school graduation requirement. Therefore, they are wired to support causes, and countless studies show they are attracted to and loyal to brands that share the same philosophy.
- Peer Recommendations Mean Everything: They are an extremely close-knit generation and value peer recommendations more than flashy marketing campaigns. Research reveals they rank peers as their most valued source of information. The key take away? Make sure to have Millennial testimonials and imagery in marketing materials, as well as include Millennial-created content in social media efforts.
- They Require (and Demand) Guidance: Although they are confident and perceive themselves as individuals, Millennials tend to struggle with decision-making. Remember, this is the generation raised by Helicopter Parents, and those parents tend to continue hovering. So if sellers focus on being trusted advisors versus salespeople solely focused on closing the deal, they will fare much better with Millennial customers.
Smart companies are investing a lot of time, effort and money into learning everything they can about the Millennial mindset; both as employees and consumers. Furthermore, sales teams around globe are learning how to better engage with them as our next generation of key decision-makers in the workforce.
With $1.5 billion in annual spending power among 85 million people, it’s easy to see why companies ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations care about them. The eldest Millennials are now around 30 years-old…so they’re not just “clueless kids” anymore.
Learn more at the Market seminar: Motivating the Millennials: How to Effectively Attract, and Sell to, the New Generation of Consumers. http://www.americasmart.com/home/july-home-gift-market/market-events#/