When it comes to being successful in sales, knowing your industry like the back of your hand is just the starting point. The true secret to sales success is knowing how to sell to any customer at any time, especially when it comes to how different generations respond to various sales techniques.
First, here's a quick review of the different generations you'll probably encounter on a sales call:
- Mature/Silent - Born 1927 - 1945
- Baby Boomers - Born 1946 - 1964
- Generation X - Born 1965 - 1980
- Generation Y or Millenials - Born 1981 - 2000
Next, you've got to assess what generation you're working with. Gen Y? Gen X? Baby boomer? Don't judge on appearances alone-take visual cues from around the home like technology, family photos, etc. If a customer could fall into different generation, take an all-encompassing sales approach that combines the potential generations into one softer selling technique.
Then, tailor your sales presentation and technique to that generation. Here are a few primary examples:
- Generation Y'ers will be more interested in a short, to the point, technology-focused sale.
- Generation X'ers will want a full, detailed sales presentation and are more likely to finance.
- Baby Boomers will be most interested in long-term savings and efficiency and are perfect candidates for solar sales.
- Mature/Silent will want time to make a decision and research their potential purchase with their network of friends and family. They will be the most interested in the quality and history of the products.
Finally, carry your generation-tailored experience through the sales process to the follow-up. Send electronic communications to your Gen X/Gen Y'ers, and more traditional mail communications to Baby Boomers and Mature/Silent. While your older generations will appreciate smaller touches like a handwritten thank you card or follow-up appointment card, your younger Gen X/Y will most certainly lean towards adding future service to their digital calendars and smartphones.
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