Salesman.Red creates content very specifically for the millennial audience.
Why? Because I’m one of them and there are more of us than any other generation in western history.
In America alone there are over 92 million millennials vs 77 million baby boomers or just 62 million in generation X.
We’re doing things later in life, have less focus on status and more focus on our values and wellness.
Right now in B2B you’re likely selling to baby boomers but very soon us millennials will be storming up the ranks into senior management and we do things differently to those who have come before us.
Here are 11 ways your customers are going to be different in the next few years.
1) We’ve less cash
Millennials have much less cash than their parents did at the same age. This is due to higher unemployment, epic levels of student debt and technology which allows us to live good lives with less money.
Expect to see a massive split in wealth as some millennials take over from retiring baby boomers and gen Xers and others remain happy or nonchalant about having a lower income.
2) We’re staying at home
Nearly 30% of people aged between 18-34 still live at home with their parents. I know a Managing Director of a 7 figure business that still lives with his Mum and Dad.
If you’re selling any home based products then you need to take into consideration this multigenerational living space.
3) We’re wanting kids later in life
The parent market is huge in everything from auto sales to consumer goods. Expect a delay in growth before a boom in the future as millennials hold off on having kids until later in life.
4) Status is less important to us
It’s impossible to know if expensive brands are valued less by millennials because they can’t afford them, they can see through the marketing hype or the internet has levelled the market and so cheaper alternatives are now within reach.
If you’re selling a high mark-up, prestigious product your market might change in the future as customers have less money and favours function over form.
5) We’re renting
The amount of 25-34 year olds renting rather than buying their home is up over 20% in the past 10 years. Even though 93% of millennials say they do want to own their own place eventually, perhaps they value freedom and not being tied down higher than mortgages.
The increased percentage of renters and a job market which is favouring short term roles rather than ‘jobs for life’ will likely lead to a more mobile and global audience in the future. This is going to make retaining customers for sales people selling physical products much more difficult.
6) We’re 100% digital
Millennials have grown up with the internet. 50% of them play video games regularly vs 27% of generation X.
Shopping, fashion, trends are all now digital and so if you’re selling a product that isn’t able to leverage the internet to build sales momentum you might be in trouble.
7) We think smoking and even drinking is ‘uncool’
It seems counterintuitive when I’m out in Leeds city centre on a Friday night but most millennials disapprove of binge drinking and smoking. The social lives of the past few generations have revolved around going the pub or clubbing, millennials will be searching out new, healthier forms of entertainment as their pay checks increase.
8) We’re cheap skates
33%+ of millennials say that price is the most important factor in any purchase. Again this could be to reduced budgets or less value given to brands vs functionality.
Anyone working in sales who can’t add massive value and communicate this successfully are going to struggle to charge a premium in the future.
9) We like to share
There is a massive shift from a preference from ownership to value in the lack of responsibly. Why own a car when you can share one (Uber)? Why have fixed rental agreements when you can move when and wherever you like (AirBnB)?
If your product ties people down for long periods of time and this was seen as a benefit in the past due to reduced costs, you will need to find an alternative pathway to closing deals moving forward.
10) We like experiences, not stuff
Pulling all the other points together and we learn that we millennials give higher perceived value to freedom and experiences over material objects.
If you’re selling a physical product and you can attach a story to it (boats – allow you to travel, software – enable you to free time by becoming more efficient) you’re going to have great success with millennials.
11) Apart from certain stuff
That said, many millennials would be seen dead without the latest iPhone, trendy Nike trainers or BEATS by Dre headphones around their neck.
Small consumer electronics will still play a pivotal role in the spread of products millennials regularly purchase.