Selling to Millennials

Are you marketing to millennials? If not, you’re missing a $600 billion market in the US alone. Use these tips to understand and sell to millennials and boost your bottom line.

Millennials are poised to become the largest living population in the United States. Population estimates show that by 2019 there will be 73 million millennials in the US, compared to an expected 72 million baby boomers. According to Accenture, millennials in the US are currently a $600 billion market, and their spending is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2020, representing 30% of retail spending.  

These are only a few of the facts that prove that the millennial generation, those born between 1980-2000, is slowly taking over. The baby boomer population has long been coveted as the generation to cater to if you want your business to thrive but as the boomers enter retirement, and may be more cautious about spending, it’s time to learn and understand the Millennials.

They’re NOT Lazy

Millennials have the undeserved reputation of being lazy. They’re waiting for the world to come to them instead of going after their dreams, say their critics but statistics show otherwise.

A University of Wisconsin study found that 85 percent of millennials were either working or in school. And, a Pew Research study shows that millennials are more educated than previous generations. 

They ARE Addicted to Technology

Millennials and their technology are a love affair that won’t end soon but how many baby boomers do you know that don’t have a cell phone nearby? What’s the largest growing demographic on Facebook? Baby boomers. It’s not just Millennials—it’s everybody. 

They DO Value Happiness

Millennials have the reputation of seeking happiness over paying the bills. There’s no doubt that the modern world is looking for balance between work and play.

They’ve grown up in the fitness and healthy eating world where nearly half of marriages end in divorce.

But it’s not fair to characterize baby boomers as uncaring and addicted to work at the expense of their family either. Each generation has a strong representation of all types.

Now that we have a better understanding of Millennials, how does a business owner convince them to buy?

You Better Have a Social Media Presence

In the mind of Millennials, the lack of a social media presence makes your business irrelevant; A dinosaur that doesn’t understand the modern way of doing business in the digital age. But that doesn’t mean that you need to hire some hipster social media consultant to blow up the Internet with all things related to your business.

Have a Facebook or Twitter presence. Update it a couple of times each week. If you’re not a big fan of social media, ask one of your employees to take on the task.

Cut the Fluff—Be Real

Millennials, as a whole, aren’t interested in your sales pitch. They don’t want you to ask how they’re doing unless you really want to hear the answer.

Want to send them out the door faster than you can say, “iPhone?” Be that pushy salesperson. You’ll likely never see them again. Work to establish a relationship.

Don’t be Loose with Your Facts

Everything you say will be verified in seconds with a simple Google search. Being authentic means being absolutely truthful. If your facts are wrong, expect a social media barrage that won’t be good for business.

Hurry Up Already!

Keep your pitch under a couple of minutes. Millennials live in a world with only a couple of speeds and they’re all variants of “fast.” They don’t want a long-winded value proposition or a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation.

They want you to get to the point. Tell them why your product or service is worth their time and let them make the decision in their own time.

Be Smart with Your Advertising

Millennials understand how to use a DVR. They’re going to fast-forward through commercials if they’re watching a TV at all. With increasing frequency, they’re consuming content on their mobile devices—a place where local advertisers can’t easily penetrate.

Instead, advertise in the social media space. Pay for Facebook ads, for example. Google ads that appear on YouTube are much better uses of your advertising budget if Millennials are your target market.

Also, Millennials are an emotional bunch. They love a strong, emotional story. Instead of trying to be funny, tell a story that tugs at the heartstrings.

Be a Mentor

You’re not in business to be a counselor, right? If you want to impress the Millennials, you have to change that mindset. Millennials want to first know that they’re being heard. Next, they want acknowledgment of the problem. Last, they want you to offer a solution.

This takes much longer than you may want to spend but that’s your customer. They value the relationship more than you think and that relationship is what will open their wallets. Yes, they want you to get to the point but they’ll give you more time if you take a genuine interest in their life.

Bottom Line

A skilled salesperson will quickly learn how to reach their customer. The old-school rules apply regardless of the person’s generation. Everybody likes a person who takes a genuine interest in them. Stick with the Golden Rule and you’re sure to impress everybody, regardless of their age.

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