The 20-something “wife” in the role-play said, “So, don’t you have any furnaces with new technology incorporated in it?” The boomer-aged “salesman” replied, “There are some with new technology but I’m not as confident in them.” “Oh.”, she said, “Well, I don’t trust old technology.”
What? Everybody trusts old technology! It’s one of those fundamental laws of human nature. Hadn’t she heard about Old Faithful? We (Boomers) might like new things but we’d rarely describe them as more reliable. New things break, and we buy newer ones to replace them.
Mystified, I later asked her, and other Gen X and Gen Y people, what she meant by that comment. She said that she meant exactly what she’d said, that she had grown up with new technology and to her “old” meant archaic and under-performing.
That comment led me to do some research about how the different generations look at things and how we might sell more effectively to them. This will be a 5-part series with future articles on how to sell to Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen-X and Gen-Y. For starters:
• Veterans: Age 63-87. Dramatic changes have happened during their lives. Now retiring or retired. Still seeking new experiences.
• Baby Boomers: Age 44-62. Grew up in prosperous times and still want “more”.
• Gen-X: Age 28-43. Willing to give up “things” to gain a desirable lifestyle;. “Work to live” is their collective mantra. If it isn’t just right for them they won’t buy it.
• Gen-Y: Age 8-27. Unconsciously and competently high-tech and expect others to communicate their way…instantly! Their world starts with “i-“.
Interesting, isn’t it? Next stop: Selling to Veterans.