Written by Nicole Beiner
There are roughly 85 million millennials in the US, and like any generation, they have observable tendencies that when acknowledged can help you positively connect with them.
This is important to keep in mind as they transition from entry level positions at their companies to positions of greater responsibility. Soon, it will be millennials that have the purchasing power. Companies will need to adapt their overall selling approaches to be compatible with the millennial way of thinking.
There are some key thoughts to bear in mind when considering the millennial consumer.
1. Online is their natural habitat
Simply stated, millennials don’t remember a time without the internet and technology. With social media and websites, millennials expect access to information in a matter of seconds. So what implications does this have for selling?
Millennials feel comfortable combing over information online and doing research on their own. That means your employees should be less concerned about delivering concrete product information and more focused on guiding the consumer based on their unique scenario. Don’t think of yourself as a salesperson, but more as a consultant helping the consumer make the best purchase based on their needs.
2. It’s more about meaning and less about offering
Getting a ‘good deal’ is not what motivates Millennials. Rather, they want to know that the companies they are working with sincerely care about their success and not just gaining another client. There needs to be an understanding that your company and your products enable them to continue carrying out their work at the highest level.
So, be a good listener and internalise each individual customer’s unique situation. Provide information that is personalised and relevant to them. Help them confidently make a purchasing decision by answering their questions in a collaborative way. Rather than one-way communication in which you are pitching a product, have a discussion about how you can work together to achieve their goals.
3. Millennials want to make a difference in the world
Simply put, millennials tend to be very civic minded. For them, it is important to help others not just in their own communities but around the world. Take for example the statistic that an increased number of millennials are now taking jobs in public service. In addition, studies show millennials are averse to organisations they view as greedy.
Consequently, when talking with millennials the conversation can’t be limited to your products and how you can help their bottom line. There has to be an added layer that deepens the conversation and illustrates the social influence of your organisation. Be sure to provide genuine information about your company’s story and the positive impact it is having on the lives of others. Initiatives and goals that extend beyond dollar signs and profits strongly resonate with millennials and can provide your company credibility.
4. Millennials don’t care about your title
Lastly, for millennials, it is important that no matter your position in a company, you view them as a peer. While most organisations have a certain level of a hierarchy, millennials prefer a flat organisational structure. This isn’t to say millennials don’t respect your accomplishments, achievements, and experience. They do and it’s for this reason they will be eager to work with you!
They want transparent information and constant feedback within an organisation so that everyone can continue to collaborate, innovate, and ultimately improve the way things are done. When they feel excluded from important processes and decisions, they become discouraged. When you are speaking with a millennial– even one that is from a different organisation– think of them as a team member and peer with whom you are collaborating to reach a common goal.
Millennials carefully consider the companies and people with which they will work, but once they do they practice strong brand loyalty. By putting in the effort on the front end to positively connect with millennials, you can gain lifetime consumers and valued partners.
5. Don’t forget the importance of social media
Online adults ages 18-34 and most likely to follow a brand via social networking which outlines the importance of establishing who your demographic is and which social media channel (if not all) they would most likely follow to gain maximum exposure.
About the Author:
Nicole Beiner is an Account Executive at Skyline’s office in Hauppauge, New York and is passionate about learning foreign languages and travelling.