Selling to Millennials
by Tim Healy
Selling to Millennials
Selling to Millennials can make you a better sales person. There I said it. And I want you to read it as the compliment it is intended to be. It is a generation that has often been maligned by Boomers and Gen X. I have to confess to some of that criticism myself.
I think every generation thinks they are better than the generations that follow. That plus a lack of understanding can attribute to cross-generational jabs. Now as a sales trainer and coach many of my clients are Boomers and Gen Xers. These same Boomers and Gen Xers are now encountering more and more Millennials in the workforce and as customers. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials became the largest generation in the US Labor Force in 2016.
How can Selling to Millennials make you a better sales person
It turns out Millennials want to be communicated to in a way that is consistent with what it means to be a good communicator. I have always trained my clients that in order to be a good sales person you MUST be a good communicator. What is necessary to be a good communicator? You have to be curious, ask great questions, listen and genuinely want to help.
Sales Pitch Won’t Work
I have felt for years that the sales pitch has lost its effectiveness. A pitch really is just a one-sided dump of information. In and of itself, not a very effective way of connecting with prospects. Given that Millennials can learn all they need to about your company and its product while on their phone sitting in your parking lot, a sales pitch won’t help. It is important to understand that sales pitches have also lost their effectiveness because of the shrinking adult attention span.
The attention span of a Goldfish
According to Branding and Public Relations expert Bill Corbett, CEO of Corbett Public Relations, “The average attention span of Americans has gone from 12 seconds down to six, the same as a goldfish. When marketing to young people it is critical to catch their attention quickly and keep it. Visual marketing using video and images with rapid fire information is effective in securing their attention and interest.”
Become a valuable resource
Instead of thinking in terms of always selling – try connecting by adding value first. By the way, that not only works with Millennials, it works with all people. If you know your target audience and what matters to them you can offer content that they will find useful and entertaining. The content should not always pertain directly to your products or services. It is fine to offer content merely for the fact that it is entertaining. Your goal is to connect with them so they feel comfortable that you are a company that is there to help.
Selling to Millennials requires being genuine
Millennials are very good at detecting fake. That is also a skill most other people are good at. So, here’s your tip: DON’T BE FAKE. Be yourself. It is easier and more enjoyable.
Selling to Millennials can help YOU
The lesson all sales people can learn when selling to millennials – cut out the BS. Engage in conversation to learn more about who they are. Ask great questions, shut up and listen. Make sure your message is direct and to the point. Don’t bombard them with sales pitches and offers to buy. If you stick to good communication with a willingness to help – you can have great success Selling to Millennials. If you are a sales manager and what great content for your next Sales Team Meeting – click here.