Born between 1977 and 1995 and numbering around 84 million, Millennials are the most diverse, fasted-growing group of consumers in the country. They may also be the most frustrating to have as customers. They communicate, shop, and buy differently than previous generations. While this has been true of previous generations as well, Millennials offer a unique set of challenges.
Thanks to financial support from their Baby-boomer parents, Millennials are entering adulthood and gaining financial independence later. This means that they become first time home buyers later. Other major purchases are delayed as well because life stages like marriage and children are happening later as well. Millennials also have more channels to shop, buy, rent and pay than previous generations. These and other factors mean that Traditional sales and marketing techniques will probably not work as well with Millennials. Here are some things to consider.
Millennials have little brand loyalty … until they do. Millennials are cost conscious to a fault. They shop discount stores, sales, and online discount sites. However, once they find a brand they like, they will be fiercely loyal. Your job is to become the brand they like.
Cut the Fluff
Millennials have grown up with information instant gratification. That means they will listen to you, but only if you deliver your information quickly. One of the toughest thing in sales is knowing when to stop talking. Get to the point and keep persuasion to a minimum. You don’t need to bury them in facts or sizzle. Studies show that millennials will have already done research and read reviews of your goods or services before they ever talk to you.
The small window of opportunity you have dictates your pitch be more fine-tuned than it might be with older clients. Millennial skepticism means that authenticity is important. They want to feel they are dealing with an honest, no-nonsense person who will tell them the truth. Know that they will fact check what you say.
Form Follows Function
Knick-knacks aren’t a high priority for Millennials. Functionality is more important than style. They are looking for things that will give them years of use rather than what’s trendy at the moment.
Businesses that don’t adapt don’t get Millennial business. Millennials, in general, carry very little cash. Whether they swipe, dip, or tap, you have to be able to accept their payment. Communication means more than in person or a phone call. Email, texting, tweeting, and social media are important as well.
Market forecasts show that, for the first time, Millennials will outspend Baby-boomers in 2017. They will spend about $1.3 trillion; that’s 20% of spending next year. That spending will only up as time goes on. It’s time to rethink your marketing to get a piece of the Millennial Generation pie.