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3 Things You Must Have When Selling Millennials

Millennials get a lot of grief.  I've heard them called entitled, self-absorbed, and spoiled.  It seems they need a connection with a cause or their passion for their lives to have meaning and for them to be happy.  It's a generalization, of course, but it's what you picture when you think of them.

My wife and I have raised three daughters ages 29 to 22.  The youngest just graduated from college.  They fall smack in the middle of that demographic and though they don't fit stereotype (I think anyway), they are different.  They think differently. They shop differently.  They work differently.

And because of their numbers, understanding of technology, and high adoption of online ways, they're influencing the ways we in other age groups do business.  We should spend time learning more about these folks.  It's not only valuable for selling to Millenials, but to other age groups who's buying habits are being shaped by Millennial.

So let me go over three different Millennial ways I've observed.

Must Have #1 - Flexibility

I recently read an announcement by a Millennial who has made it big.  He's an online marketing coach that built a successful practice and is now handing the reigns of his business to his second in command.  He and his wife are adjusting how he works.  He still plans to work hard but they are prioritizing travel.  They really enjoy that and are making overt changes so they can travel as they like

I'm coming up on 55 this summer and I can't remember anyone growing up making a call like that.  It is true that working from home and virtual work places hadn't been invented yet.  I remember people saying they wanted to retire young.  I don't recall anyone who strove really hard to modify their business so it would adapt so drastically to what it is they wanted to do.  We just didn't do that.

Millennials want flexibility.   I see them working hard, but then wanting to be able to play heard working when it is they want to work.  They aren't afraid to ask for extra time off a specific time when they want to travel. They can get creative work exchange working hours so they can later take time off.   I remember thinking when I was younger that if I made a request like that, I might be seen as not ambitious and thinking it would stunt my career.

Millennials don't seem to care about that much at all.


Must Have #2 - Meaning

I've heard people my age say things like, "Oh, please.  Following your passion is a luxury."  I've worked in corporate for many years and I know for a fact that people who love what they do and have a passion for it are far better at what they do than people that don't.  It just seems that in my generation, you didn't make such a big deal about it.  I guess we stayed practical thinking, "Yeah I'd love to do something I love, but I've got a wife, kids and a mortgage. I don't have that option."

Well it could be that Millennials have just been the first to say it aloud and make it a battle cry.  Then what happens is people in other age groups look at them as spoiled.  Is it really a luxury to do something you love to do or is it something we should all openly strive to achieve?  My opinion is you need to strike a balance, but if you make that a top priority, it's not only more likely to happen, but it's likely to make you a better employee, team member, or business owner depending on the role you choose for yourself.

Must Have #3 - A Cause

When I was growing up, your causes were pretty clear.  They were church related or raised money for diseases.  You had Girl Scouts selling cookies and the Humane Society.  It seems Millennials have fueled a charge behind many different causes.  They have incorporated that into how they present themselves and brand themselves.

I am concerned that it can cause people to NOT have the controls that were in place.  Churches and large organizations like the Scouts could be trusted to use the money wisely.  Outside of that, it's good that causes and the connection it can have with someones values.

So as you market to people, see how you can cater to these ways of thinking especially if you are crossing the generations and looking to attract those that think differently from you.


Hope this helps.