How to Market and Sell to Millennials

Marketers and salespeople are constantly trying to crack the code: How can I market and sell to Millennials?

Millennials are different from Boomers and Gen Xers. They don’t respond to marketing and sales messages, strategies and tactics in the same ways.

That leaves most businesses questioning how to effectively target, market and sell to people in this emerging generation. Millennials are the largest age group since the Boomers and they’re entering their peak working, earning and spending years. That makes it critical for organizations to figure out how to connect with them and get them to buy.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Don’t sell to them. Ever.

So you’re probably asking yourself: If I can’t “sell” to them, how do I get Millennials to purchase my products and services?

Millennials grew up with blatant, highly promotional, in-your-face ad campaigns bombarding them on television and through social media. Over time, they tuned out and stopped listening.

Instead of selling or promoting, you need to engage Millennials in in-person or virtual dialogues and take time to explain things to them. You must guide them so they come to the conclusion that the benefits of the products and services you offer are worthwhile and will make their lives better. It’s the only way to get them to take action.

Messages should be delivered in a clear, concise and conversational way. Pitches that sound like they come from a used car salesman are a sure way to turn Millennials off.

2. Connect with Millennials on their own terms.

Do you advertise on television, radio or in print? If you’re trying to do business with Millennials, you won’t find them there.

Instead, they’re more likely tuned into their smartphones and other electronic devices, interacting with social media, browsing the Internet or gaming. Unlike earlier generations, Millennials grew up with their devices. They didn’t convert to them. That makes them committed users.

That’s why, if you want to market and sell to people in this generation, you need to do it on THEIR turf, including:

  • Text and messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
  • Chat, if it’s genuine and doesn’t feel like a chatbot experience
  • Email (make sure the subject line is relevant and draws them in)
  • Social media (take time to figure out which channels people in your specific target audience engage with)
  • Phone calls
  • In-person interactions including casual meetings over coffee, conferences and social events.

Don’t limit yourself to a single channel. Give Millennials the freedom to interact with you when and how they prefer.

Tip: These channels shouldn’t just be used for marketing and sales. They should be leveraged for all customer service interactions, as well.

3. Get to the point.

Millennials need to have access to enough information so they feel confident they’re making sound buying decisions. However, it can be a mistake to overload them with too much. Most are busy, constantly moving from one activity to another. If you force them to navigate through too much clutter to get to what they need, they’ll leave and move on to your competitors. If a sales pitch goes on too long, they’ll get bored and stop paying attention.

Map out an optimal sales journey for the Millennials you’re targeting, including the marketing support for every step of it. Then monitor the effectiveness of it using a sales enablement system like the one offered by Mobile Locker. It will allow you to fine-tune it over time so your marketers and sales reps will be able to deliver just the right amount of information at the optimal times.

4. Never exaggerate or stretch the truth.

Millennials grew up with the internet. They’ve always been able to double-check the information provided to them. That makes it likely they’ll fact check all the claims made in your marketing materials and by your sales reps.

It they find that something is untrue or off-base, they won’t do business with your organization. Not only that, but they’ll probably spread the word to their network, potentially damaging your reputation in front of hundreds — or even thousands — of potential customers.

Remember, sales information is not just messages put out by you or your competitors. It also includes online ratings and reviews — and personal recommendations and references — which paint a more impartial view of your business for Millennials.

All this taken together makes it critical that you market your business and sell its products and services in honest, straightforward and ethical ways. Your reputation depends on it.

5. Be emotional.

When you follow trending topics for Millennials in social media, you’ll quickly see that they feel genuinely passionate about the things they care about, such as the environment, healthcare and social issues that could impact their futures and those of their children.

Emotions get Millennials to do things. Give them a reason to laugh, cry or care and you’ll engage them and get them to take action. However, always make sure the emotions are genuine and can’t be interpreted as artificial or manipulative.

6. Act as a mentor.

Millennials appreciate people who can guide them to the truth. If you want to sell to them, you need to act as a mentor or teacher, making it clear you hear them, acknowledge their issues and could help them solve their problems. This will turn the people on your sales team from sellers to respected experts.

Don’t limit this approach to selling. Be a mentor or educator in your marketing materials and social media campaigns, as well. It’s a great way to proactively get in front of Millennials with solutions to the issues they face.

Remember: It may be challenging to market and sell to Millennials. However, the success of your business depends on it. Give it a try and monitor response using a sales enablement system like the one offered by Mobile Locker. It will provide the data you need to figure out what resonates with them — and what doesn’t.

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