Who's That in the Buyer's Chair? 4 Generations in the Workplace
The buyers may be Gen Xers who had cell phones and grew up in the fallout of the social revolution. These cynical adults have core values around informality, skepticism and fun. They were the latch-key kids who grew up with a backpack. Surprisingly conservative and cautious, their attitude is "call me only at work." They prefer direct and immediate communication, and they want balance and they like structure and direction. "Forget the rules and do it your way" are messages that resonate with them. Born between 1965 and 1981, Cameron Diaz is an Xer. Send them an email, leave them a voice mail, challenge them with innovative ideas and focus on results.
Or they may be Gen Y who never answer a phone, but will send a text message to the person who is sitting next to them. Digital natives, they prefer to communicate through email, Internet, pictures, and text. They have core values around extreme fun, confidence, realism and they are very social. Their work ethic is goal oriented, they are tolerant, multi-task as a way of life and want immediate feedback and meaningful work. They love to work with other bright, creative people. Born between 1982 and 2001, Mark Zuckerberg is part of this generation. The Gen Y or Millennials love diversity and celebrate it. You may find it easy to judge them by the tattoos and piercings. Don't!
Selling to this group takes new approaches, new attitudes and an open mind.
(The next posting will be all about Gen Y and why it's critical that you learn the skills and rules to sell to this group.)