One of the biggest challenges facing companies today is selling to millennials. They are a hard bunch to sell to, seeming to be very self-centered, distracted, and arrogant. It can take a great deal of effort to break into their ranks. Is the struggle really worth it?

Millennials make up 25{db95e0fd77ae6d141d4535e2bf7b464d98e4151322120f553d7786be9a7303be} of the population, a bigger group than the baby boomers. In addition, this group has a high percentage of both highly educated and highly paid individuals. Capturing the attention and favor of this crowd is not just an advantage, it’s essential for the survival of modern day companies.

Understanding the mind of the millennial is a crucial first step to making a sale. It is easy to look only on the outer surface to find seemingly negative attributes. However, these outer behaviors are just the product of much deeper and reasonable motivations.

 

1. From the outside, millennials may look Disinterested, when really they are just Skeptical.

They know the tricks. They have seen them all before. They have read about the scams online and since they spent their formative years there, have probably been taken advantage of once or twice before. They know if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. They are realists and know that everything has a price. How do you sell to the skeptical millennial?

 

Let them do their research. They are educated and want to know the facts.

Don’t pressure them. If you try to force a quick decision, they will think you are trying to hide something. This will cause distrust and they will shut down.

Offer them truthful information. They will appreciate being provided with objective information from outside sources.

 

2. From the outside, millennials may look Critical, when really they want Transparency.

They will ask questions. They will ask their parents, friends, neighbors, strangers off the street they see using your product, and, of course, the internet. They will read reviews. They will question YOU about those reviews. If there was a problem or issues, they will find out about it. How do you please the curious millennial?

Do not lie. There is a good chance they will catch you in it. This will destroy any hope at rapport development or making a sale for you and the entire company. They then will tell their friends and family, and, of course, the internet.

Provide them with reviews. They will want opinions, especially the ones of people they like, know and trust.

Explain bad reviews. Be upfront about any problems. Explain how these have been resolved or how the problems may potentially affect them.

Use the product yourself. Be one of the reviews. If you like the product, they will be able to see that. But be warned, if you don’t like it, they will be able to see that as well.

 

3. From the outside, millennials may look Narcissistic, when really they are Thrifty.

Millennials want to buy quality products at the best possible price. They place a high value on their time and money. These individuals lived through two major economic depressions. Many of them started working at an early age to help out at home or worked their way through school. They understand the value of a dollar. How do you sell to the tightfisted millennial?

Find the best option for them. They know what it is they need and don’t like paying for frills and unnecessary extras.

Tailor your services. They appreciate being heard. They appreciate customization to their unique situation. Personalization and one-on-one contact will create a loyal, repeat customer.

Find their “Cause”. Every millennial has a cause. This may mean sending aid to Haiti. It may also mean saving for their child’s college fund. If you show them that your product/service can benefit their cause, they will be much more open to doing business.

4. From the outside millennials may seem aloof when interacting with the ‘older generation’.  Remember to build rapport.

All people, millennials included, do business with individuals they know, like and trust. This is the essence of rapport. Developing rapport takes time and patience. Once you’ve established rapport with a person, he or she is far more likely to be open with you and share information, buy your product, recommend you to others, or support your ideas. And when someone has established rapport with you, you’re likely to do the same.

In short, establishing rapport with people can open doors, create opportunities, and lead to excellent relationships.

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