The Mansfield Sales Blog

Selling to Millennials

Generation Y (or ‘Millennials’) were born between the 1980s and early 2000s, and they make up the most compelling group of prospective customers since the Baby Boomers. Consider this: the Millennials are the largest generation ever born in the U.S. At roughly 26 % of our population, and they bring $200 billion of buying power to the market!

So what’s unique about this group, other than their obvious youth and enormous potential? This is intuitive, but it bears repeating: they’re the first generation to grow-up online. The internet is prominent in their lives in a way that other generations don’t quite grasp. The largest chunk of people in this group will have difficulties remembering what life was like without the online experience. The internet for them is almost like a member of the family. They’re all about connectivity, content, the cool factor and of course, instant gratification. What else?

  • They’re the most ethnically diverse generation. Ever.
  • They’re a nicer, more compassionate generation, taught not to bully or discriminate against others.
  • They’re skeptical! Remember, this is the generation that grew up watching prominent figures in the media getting caught lying and cheating. It almost evolved into an art form. Think of how many sports figures and politicians have let them down.
  • Generation Y is all about the short term, and they embrace risk.
  • They’re a green generation and will always have that focus on their radar.
  • They are not into brand loyalty. They’re more into social trends. You build a brand with them, not for them.
  • Cutting edge technology rocks their world.
  • They speak a different language (‘cyber’) and they have a mastery of social networking. They multi-task effortlessly between texting, tweeting, Skype-ing, playing video games online, watching TV and downloading songs onto their iPod.

There’s no way to overlook their influence, but there are plenty of ways to miss opportunities to craft your sales message in a way that best translates to this influential group. Take all of the points mentioned above, plus add countless others, and if you’re a Baby Boomer or part of Generation X, you need a sales force that can speak to Millennials in their digital language. Not only that, but the sales message needs to be delivered in a manner and through an environment that’s fertile ground for their attention, for example Facebook, Twitter, texting and mobile advertising. This generation needs effective and creative sales techniques traveling at them at the speed of light!

You’ve no doubt got something to say to this generation. With 78 million buyers at stake and $200 billion to spend, how will you sell to Generation Y? It may be a good idea to work with a sales advisory firm to assist in reaching this market. 

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March 2011 and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.

Topics: Sales Strategy


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