From a Marketer’s perspective, selling to millennials starts the same way selling to other generations does; by understanding who they are and how to be relevant to them rather than how they are different.
Millennial stats – why this generation is important
Pew Research Center defines Millennials as people born between 1982 and 1996, or 23 to 37-year-olds. There are 80 million of them in the US and they spend $600 billion annually. Forecasts predict millennials will represent 35% of consumer spending by 2030. Obviously, there is great revenue potential in addressing this market.
Three things to remember when selling to millennials:
1. Focus on the experience
Millennials value experiences and ignore traditional marketing and selling methods. •Only 6% of millennials think online advertising is credible. [Source: SocialChorus] To the extent that it’s possible, focus on the experience of owning whatever you’re selling more than the product itself. Try hosting open houses or “demo days” at your store where potential buyers can handle the equipment AND talk to others who are either shopping or already own similar products.
It’s extremely important that your salespeople understand the importance of the product experience and adapt their sales style accordingly.
2. They care about you if you care about others.
81% of Millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to charitable causes and citizenship according to Horizon Media's Finger on the Pulse study. Whether it’s the environment, community or a charity your business supports or is involved with, make sure you make your work known. Publish pictures on your website and (of course) use social media to share your good work.
3. Have an online presence, not just a website.
You knew this was coming… While having a website where people can view inventory, research products and ultimately transact is essential, reviews are also important. 40% of Millennials refer to online reviews and testimonials before purchasing a product. [Source: Millennial Marketing] “More than one-third of millennials prefer to wait until someone they trust has tried something” according to Forbes.com. Make soliciting customer reviews, either of your business or the products you sell, a standard part of your post-sale process.
Utilize social media. Research shows that while millennials follow brands on social, it’s so they know when to grab a deal than to interact with the company. Include Facebook and Twitter when you announce sales or discounts. Publish videos of your products in use on social media, or better yet, videos of your customers using or reviewing your products.
Focus on these three things and millennials will find your business relatable, opening new opportunities for future sales.