Prospects size up salespeople in somewhere between thirty seconds and two minutes. Those who survive these two minutes well increase their chances of closing deals. Hence the saying, “A first great impression can work wonders.” Therefore, we as salespeople should ask ourselves: To who do we need to make a first great impression, and what does that look like?
There are four generations in the workplace today, Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964), Generation X (1965 – 1980), Millennials (1980 – 2000), and Generation Z (after 2000). 73% of Millennials are now involved in influencing or making buying decisions for their companies. Therefore, it makes sense to understand the values they stand for, their expectations about you and themselves, and the main characteristics you need to be aware of so your pitch is perfect.
- Are technologically savvy and connected
- Value straightforward management and recognition
- Job satisfaction is related to opportunities to learn and grow
- Rather than conforming to 20th century norms, Millennials will disrupt the status quo
What does that all mean to you? Well, many things. But what stands out for me is that they are a great fit for the new way of selling. How good is that? Let me explain:
- They don’t like to be sold to – it makes them turn their heads away. They have grown up with pushy sales pitches, and they are tired of it. Millennials are interested in the Why and Why Not. Millennials like down-to-earth salespeople who can truly connect with them and give them the truth.
- They are hungry for information. Millennials grew up in the age of websites and social networking. They cannot put their phones down looking for the latest news, trends and data that solve their questions and supports their ideas. But they are not only hungry for information – they are desperate to find missing information that helps them to make sense of their complex world.
- Share, but be quick. Millennials are curious, but they are also quite busy and always shifting from one activity to another. Holding them longer than they want to, will bore them, especially if they have to listen to non-relevant information. They will then source Internet to learn more about what you are trying to sell to them so they aren’t caught in any surprises that they might not like. Be a step ahead of them and show you have done your homework.
- Have your research ready. Millenials like to fact-check what you’re saying or stating. It’s almost a wasted effort trying to explain everything rather than showing sources of the new information. Use your sales enablement tool. Even better, share research in advance and connect on social media with them.
- Get more stakeholders involved. Whereas previous generations preferred to show authority and at times, made decisions on their own, the Millennial doesn’t like that at all. They feel comfortable connecting with peers and ask opinions. In the new way of selling, you want more involvement of people in the customer’s buying group. Your suggestion will not fall on deaf ears.
- Act like a Guide and Advisor. They have bosses, too, who can open doors to the next career steps. Millenials will grab any opportunity to make them grow. Help them see risks they didn’t recognize before and build business cases for change together.
Selling with a Seller’s perspective will not get any Buyer’s attention and certainly not from Millennial Buyers. However, the more you think about their way of thinking, behaving and motivations as Buyers, the more you realize that Selling with the Buyer’s Perspective is a perfect fit for their world. Although it still feels uncomfortable to you, it feels natural to them. So, selling with the Buyer’s Perspective to Millennials, that’s your Million Dollar move.
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