How to sell to Gen Ys

Have you seen this poster on billboards, the tube, at rail stations?  On first glance it looks like a push for a big movie. It has that same style, format of a big blockbuster movie.

But look closer and its not.

Talking to my 15 year old son yesterday there’s a new computer game coming out shortly – a sequel to Medal of Honour. It has been planned for over 5 years, has an enormous budget to create and it’s graphics are “lush” as Lewis describes.  Now “lush” is a term only reserved for something that is the best.

Lewis went on “Dad it’s like a movie, there’s tons of action and a great story, but you play it as you watch, you’re part of the action and I can’t wait to buy it.”

 The cost?  £45 a shot.

 So where does this leave us in sales, sales management and coaching.  Simple really. We must review the way we handle and interact with Gen Y’s.

They need to be involved more than any other generation

Static is no good, technology makes this a no go. When selling to a Gen Y you need to involve them like the computer game, immerse them in the moment.  Get much more visual with your descriptions, make full use of video – YouTube and online video.  Keep it moving and keep it exciting.

Involve them in meetings, don’t lecture, no PowerPoint – Gen Y’s use PowerPoint for a totally different reason to us.  For them it s a tool to capture information for a report. It’s not a presentation medium unless you use it really well, and to impress a Gen Y with PowerPoint, you’ve got to be verging on Gold Medal standard.

Use the Social Networking facilities, let them google you whilst in meetings, allow them to Twitter the outcome of your meeting.  Don’t fight it, work with it.

Above all coach them.  Real coaching not the banded around word called coaching which is really training on a one to one basis.  No, real coaching, where they decide the way forward and the options to get there, they are involved and challenged.

The trick is to keep ahead of the curve, understand the world that Gen Y’s have been weaned on and adapt to their needs. And if you want to appreciate Gen Y’s more I can lend you Lewis, my 15 year old, for a weekend, all reasonable offers considered.