Hopefully by now, there’s no question in your mind that buying and selling habits have shifted — the way we interact and engage with the world is becoming more “millennial-esque” year by year.
Now, what do I mean by that? Because some of you could be thinking to yourselves “Gross! I dislike those lazy millennials.”
Then, your eyes glaze over for the rest of this article.
Pay attention and keep an open mind …
Millennials fall into that unique transitional time — born between 1980 and 2000. Most millennials grew up without the internet, and then an overabundance of new, household technology flooded the market throughout their developmental years.
This relationship with technology causes variations in their perception of the world compared to other generations.
Some are quick to call millennials lazy — though every generation has its apathetic and ambitious. Believe it or not, many fellow millennials I even know personally, are extremely high achievers.
Laziness or the standard misperception of the millennial generation is not the shift I’m referring to.
The shift is the way they leverage technology to make purchasing decisions, including more researching, more educating, and more vetting on the interweb than ever before. And most buyers are making these adoptions too — no matter the generation.
There are two key reasons you should learn the ways of the millennial seller so you don’t fall behind with the modern buy, and risk your sales growth taking a nosedive:
1. Millennials (and younger) are taking up a dominate seat in the workforce, and therefore, have an authoritative voice in buying roles. An astounding 73% help decide what their companies purchase, and over 30% are the sole decision makers in their business’s buying process
Check out Statista’s chart on what that looks like. Gen Y (millennials) & Z will dominate the workforce in 2020.
2. Generation X AND Boomers are leveraging technology and information more and more to make buying decisions.
My hope for you is that these are simple reminders, not sacred epiphanies.
Otherwise, we have some catching up to do!
To sell to these groups, we must learn to sell like these groups.
As a 26-year-old millennial myself, who’s helped build 8+ figure marketing departments, trained hundreds of sales people (Z-ers to Boomers), and helped add multi-million dollar deals to our clients’ sales pipelines over the years, here are some of my top tips:
Social supplement, not replacement.
My philosophy that’s won the ears of the most senior business execs in some of the most archaic of industries: social media and social selling is not the be-all and end-all. It’s there to supplement everything else that’s tried-and-true for you (cold calling, emailing, in person networking, etc.).
Just realize that these approaches may not always BE tried-and-true in the near future…
You and your company NEED to take up the valuable real estate on social media platforms like LinkedIn as means to compliment your steadfast sales and marketing efforts — not full on replace them.
No matter what, sales growth boils down to reaching enough of the right people and consistently being able to stay in front of them. Especially in the noisy, busy, constantly distracted world we live in today.
You probably had to stop in the middle of this article to check your cell phone (👀 I see you).
People and your prospects have to see you show up over, and over, and over, again!
Nothing delivers this better than social media platforms, and not just one in particular — although LinkedIn is where I recommend the most focus. Be seen on all social media platforms that are used by your buyers for multiple touchpoints.
If I’m still leveraging cold calling, attending trade shows, working my referral network, I can use social media to close the gap with added touchpoints in unique ways that stand out from the crowd.
Get personal with it!
We can all agree that sales are about the relationship.
And who are people buying from, really?
Combine the reach social media platforms provide with the online persona of your humanized, personal brand, and you have the start to a powerful sales growth vehicle.
Most of the companies that buy from you have no memory of your brand/company whatsoever. Use your face to facilitate more conversations!
We will eventually be doing most B2B buying interactions through VR (virtual reality) at some point in the near future, and your online personal brand will become that much more vital as leverage.
As for current strategy — focus and leverage your personal social media profiles to deploy your message to better reach & communicate with your market.
Can’t do it without the content (YOUR content)!
The greatest mistake I see with most who are trying to sell like a millennial, is using their social media feeds as a content junk dump, just to “show up” or to “add value.”
Listen Frank, your buyers don’t care about the irrelevant “industry blog” that you share to LinkedIn once a week.
People want to know about you, your company’s unique take on the market, and how you help people solve their problems, along with the personalities behind it. You would be deeply surprised at the number of clients’ content strategy I spend time auditing. It turns out most of what they’ve been sharing leads into competitors’ sales funnels — simply by not using their own content.
It’s not that hard to pull off if you have the right system. Your conversations with prospects and clients hold the key to endless, BOUNDLESS posts! I can easily push those insights out via written content, videos, audio podcasts, and graphics — and eventually, all of the above.
Find what you and your team can stay MOST consistent with and refine from there. Create many posts form a single larger piece of content.
If you wait around to start adding the “sell like a millennial” approach to the mix, you’re already behind the times.
Don’t let your perception drive you away from proven, profitable, and modern business strategies.
If you already know you need help to get team selling like a millennial? Click here to see if you qualify for one of our custom services for individuals or companies.
Author: Connor Dube is Co-Founder of the Mile High Mentors Podcast and Partner at ActiveBlogs, an industry leader in LinkedIn social selling and content strategy. Building his first business at seven, he’s gone on to create multiple companies throughout his years in school and has helped his clients add multiple 8-figures to their sales pipeline with his innovative approach to Social Selling. As a current leader in sales and marketing strategy for complex industries, Connor’s been featured in top podcasts, resources, and stages, including MSU Denver’s current sales and marketing curriculum.