Tips for Selling to Gen Y’s

One of the things I have noticed when reviewing the data about who is visiting this site, was the large percentage of Boomers. Since I’m a Boomer, I guess you like my information on B2B Sales.

However, this weekend while attending a large convention I over heard several speakers talking about Generation Y and the unique issues they present for Boomers.

Now, they were also talking about the X Generation and the main thing I learned about them is they are skeptical about everything. Again, interesting information and I have seen this occur when working with this age group. They are skeptical – particularly of anything said by Boomers.

Therefore, have your proof and testimonials ready for the Gen X decision makers and you will make more progress.

Now, back to the Gen Y buyers and decision makers. I realize these are the younger group, yet, amazingly they are fast movers and are climbing the corporate ladders quickly.

The reality of the climbing quickly is partially due to the fact they out number the Gen X’ers by a factor of two to one. So, when there are shortages of available talent in the Gen X range (which there is a big shortage of qualified people in this age groupings) the Gen Y fast trackers are more than willing to take on the responsibilities.

Here is what makes dealing with Gen Y’s interesting for boomers. It is like the entire population of Gen Y’s are ADD and only have a short attention span. Well, I learned this is a common trait in this age group.

They are the only generation who have grown up in a fully computerized world. And, they have are big time users of the “Smart Phones.” I mean they really use their smart phones and all the bells and whistles provided on these hand held devices.

They are easily distracted and actually enjoy the world of multi-tasking big time. They are the people most likely to be talking to you, texting someone else and reading emails or web alerts all at the same time.

Let’s face the facts Boomers, these are difficult people for us to communicate with effectively. Why? Because we are outgoing and enjoy breaking bread (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and we enjoy learning about the people we deal with on a daily basis.

Not so with the Gen X’ers. They believe socializing is what you do on Social Media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and don’t forget their favorite source of socializing – Twitter. They accept rapid changes and multi-media engagements.

They do not care for long or drawn out discussions or presentations. They want “sound bites” rather than deep content, information and explanations. In other words, their world is fast paced and quickly changing. They are the wired generation.

So, the master for us B2B Sales people – especially the boomer sales people – is we have to adjust how we sell to these younger decision makers.

We have to prepare more and learn to be very concise in our selling or persuasion points. We have to get to the meat of our content without a lot of history, background or explanations. This is why we need to do more homework in preparation for working with this age group – if you want to be successful.

Practice your presentations to the point you can deliver a targeted dialogue in fifteen minutes or less. To do this well, you will need to practice ( video or audio record your presentation and listen to your pace and content points) to get a proper balance between content (information) and persuasion points in your presentation.

Remember, these people are multi-taskers who will need you to hit them between the eyeballs with great questions and content to get them to slow down and THINK about what you are sharing with them. For this to work properly, you will need to practice. No winging it is allowed if you want to win them over.

One last point regarding the Gen Y’ers – they do not believe everyone is perfect. So, if you make a mistake or show you have made mistakes in the past, surprise – they will believe you are a real person and give you more credibility. Therefore, avoid being too slick in your mannerisms or you will turn them off or they will shut down the listening process and wait for you to quit and leave – while they text others about you.

Therefore, be real and be the authentic you since both the Gen X and Gen Y have amazing BS meters in their heads.

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Voss Graham

Sr Business Advisor / CEO at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Your Knowledgeable Partner for Business Success and Achievement. Dedicated to helping others get to their next level of success. Award winning business advisor; coach to executives and business owners; Business Growth Strategist; and experienced using assessments for hiring & selection, evaluation of teams and improving communication. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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