A new qualified lead has reached out to you. After a review of their social media profile, you realize that you will be selling to someone who is the same age as your son or daughter. Millennials are now in the position to make purchasing decisions on behalf of their companies. There is a fundamental change in expectations and general mindset for this generation, so it’s important to learn how to tailor your approach.
Do Your Homework
Find out about this demographic. Market research provides information that helps any sales force identify preferences, buying trends and characteristics to tailor an approach. When you research the millennial generation and your specific prospects, you can find out more about their values and perfect your pitch. When talking, less is more. Millennials want to be heard, so provide ample opportunity for them to share what is uppermost on their mind. Can the canned spiel. Work on creating dialogue and actively listening.
Millennials are the Ultimate DIYers
Millennials do their own research. They value peer reviews over targeted marketing messages. Expect much of the work to be done for you with prospects further along the buyer’s cycle. Millennials will have a shortlist of companies that can provide potential solutions and look for reviews about the product or service and company. Sales must understand their behavioral preference. This generation prefers to read and find the answer themselves, rather than call. When they do make contact, expect specific questions that go beyond general features.
What can your organization do to bring the information to them?
- Website: Post authorized testimonials on your company website. Multiple testimonials should be included for each respective project within your online portfolio. Make it simple for them to find out about the positive experiences of others. Your website should be viewable across laptops and smart devices with a seamless shopping experience.
- Social Media Channels: Engage in social media channels that millennials would use for discussion. Millennials have a need to be heard. They want to connect with you, but they want to do it on their time. Respond to current and prospective clients online and earn their respect.
- Marketing Efforts: More of your budget should be spent on the medium that millennials use. With millennials online almost 18 hours a day, your marketing spend should be geared towards internet marketing and radio. Your message needs to be where they are.
- Feedback: In addition, manage any concerns or negative feedback in a timely fashion. Do not fall for the automated message. Millennials can sniff out inauthentic responses. An automated message is not a fit for every situation that can arise. American Airlines already made that mistake and continues to have issues with appropriate responses to customers. Have real people respond to questions and comments within your communities. Make them feel that you care about their needs. When performing a search, a host of related materials will pop up. Companies that do not manage their feedback will not make it to the shortlist of prospects.
- Sales Interactions: Be choosy. Ask probing questions and find out:
1. Their organization’s pain points. What problems do they face and what solutions have they tried? Where have other providers fallen short?
2. The information they already have in hand. They most likely have read about your company and the products and features online. Listen to what information they have and where you can offer value.
3. Their burning questions. Can the product or service be used with the processes that they already have in place? Will they need ongoing support or training? What are the potential problems in integration with current products/services (typically in IT) and what are the options?
4. How the product or service can meet their organization’s specific needs. Bottom line: your company’s product or service must be the best solution for their particular problem.
Do not hand over the whole spectrum of materials. Listen and respond to what your prospect is saying. Carefully select the material that will answer the specific questions they have along the buyer’s cycle. Have access to an expert on the product or service in order to find the answers that they seek. Go beyond being a sales person; be a resource and earn their loyalty.