One of the biggest challenges that baby boomers face is how to sell products and services to Generation Y (people born between 1975 and 1995). They think different, speak different and act different. However, you cant afford to ignore them. There are 80 million of them in the U.S., spend $200 billion per year and have a major influence over their parents spending.
These are some tips on how to sell to the Generation Y from someone who is a Gen Y himself:
Write as You Talk
Forget that boring, corporate-looking mission statement. Get real. Dont try to impress me with your fancy words; we care about what you have to say, not how educated you sound.
Show Me the People!
We dont like doing business with corporations; we want to see the people behind them. Does your About Us page show a picture of your team? Do you tell people who you are and what your hobbies are? I need to know who you are in order to trust you.
We tend to be less formal (in our communications, dressing style and general appearance). We like freaks and we like nerds. We appreciate diversity and we like people who are true to themselves.
Care About the Environment
Going green is not a fad. Most of my friends and I really care about doing business with environmentally-conscious companies.
Give Me Something Free
I dont know where we got this sense of entitlement, but we want something free before we give you our money. Competition is fierce in every industry. We know it and if you dont go the extra mile to make us happy, well go to your competitor.
Admit Your Screw-Ups
When you do something wrong, admit it publicly. Dont try to hide it and hope we dont find out, because when we do, well post it all over the web. And believe me: itll sound a lot better when it comes from you instead of us.
Do you have a social media presence? Maybe you dont because you dont get it, its a waste of time or you dont want to learn how to do it. Well, its not about you. Its about your customers. Theyre all over social media holding a few hundred-dollar bills waiting for you to take their money, so think about it again. Are you sure you still dont care?
We want to see that youre doing cool stuff on Facebook and Twitter. We want you to ask how you can make your product better. When we tweet something nasty about your customer service, we want you to tweet back right away and take care of us.
Are you a Gen Y? What are the most important things you want to see in a company you do business with?
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