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 can’t 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. Don’t 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 don’t 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.
Be Yourself
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 don’t 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 don’t go the extra mile to make us happy, we’ll go to your competitor.
Admit Your Screw-Ups
When you do something wrong, admit it publicly. Don’t try to hide it and hope we don’t find out, because when we do, we’ll post it all over the web. And believe me: it’ll sound a lot better when it comes from you instead of us.
Be Social
Do you have a social media presence? Maybe you don’t because you don’t get it, it’s “a waste of time” or you don’t want to learn how to do it. Well, it’s not about you. It’s about your customers. They’re 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 don’t care?
We want to see that you’re 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?