How many of your younger reps are struggling to gain respect and to be taken seriously by their older customers? And how many of your most senior reps are having a hard time selling to buyers much younger than they are? Join me as I share techniques your reps can apply to help them successfully sell to any buyer, no matter what their age…so they can sell even more!
How are you helping all of the members of your sales team be able to sell to the full range of customers you have? And in effect, how do they sell to somebody that's a different age than they are? The reality of our world today as sales professionals is we have four distinct generations that we need to be selling to, and likely could be our buyers. We have, first of all, the over 12 year olds to 12 to 25 that are the Gen Zs, we have the people that are over 26, that are the millennials, we have the people over 42 that are the Gen Xers, and we have people over 58 that are the baby boomers. Now the reality is, any age salesperson is going to be challenged by this age range. So if you're a more senior sales rep, they're going to have some challenges dealing with the younger, especially the Gen Zs, that might be in their early twenties and still responsible for buying.
We have the opposite of that where you have a very young salesperson, a newly hired individual, how are they going to sell to people that are 40 and older? Especially because each of these generations have a different view, a different philosophy, and a different bias of even how they want to communicate, much less what they want to hear and how they want to buy. This is a challenge of knowing more about than understanding the differences in your customers and what they do, but some simple ideas that you can immediately implement. The first is, and it sounds simple, but it needs to be there, is we need to show respect.
Too many times, I've watched young sales reps, when I've ridden with them, will actually chastise the older customers for not being current on their technology and the ability to communicate. I've watched also senior members lecture the junior people like, "Okay, this is what you really need to know," didn't treat them as peers, and turned off the buyers. We need to make sure we show respect to the age in each of the bias differences that we have in our buyers. The other is, this is a great time to be asking questions and listening, to ask them what they want, ask them how they want to be communicated with, how you would like them to reach you in the future. Do they want to talk by text? Do they want to talk by email? Do they want to talk by phone or face to face? 'What's going to be most effective and helpful for you?' is a great question to be asking anybody, because instead of trying to guess how they want to be communicated or dealt with, why don't we just ask them and interview about it?
And the final thing is, be very careful that you don't assume what you like and what you want in your products or services that a customer also might as well. Too many times as salespeople, we only sell to our own bias. So we tell the customer why we love the features of our products, or why we think it's such a great idea, instead of focusing on the customer where their bias and awareness and philosophies are, to talk and to ask and to communicate, "This is how I believe it can be of help to you." But we got to make sure that just because we like it or we think it's a good idea, doesn't mean all the different general will because each of them have different motivations. The reality is, we have such a diversity of age groups to sell to, the widest range of age groups that are actively involved in buying today than most people have experienced in their entire career.
This means we need to teach our people more flexibility. We need to have them have more awareness and more understanding of the differences in the people they sell to so they can be persuasive on every call. We'd love to know what you think of this, we'd love to answer any of your questions. Thanks for checking out my podcast. I'm posting two new podcasts each week, all aimed at helping you and your team increase your selling competitive advantage.