Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gen-X, Gen-Y ... and how they impact your business

We are in a new era.  The world is changing faster than ever before and a driving force behind this change is a group of individuals known as Generation-Y.  Born in the mid-1980's and later, Generation Y professionals are in their 20s and are just entering the workforce. With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, Generation Y (also known as the Millennials) is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce.  This group of individuals are also consumers and if you want to be relevant to them and gain them as a customer you need to be just as tech savvy and on the cutting edge as they are.
Today, everyone has a new attitude and a new way of doing things.  Technology and social media has blurred the lines between work and personal life.  Through proper leverage of this technology, we are able to get more done in less time wherever and whenever we can.
The younger generation has mastered technology and has made a new "normal" for the way we communicate, share, shop, sell and do business.  The younger generation, roughly between the ages of 20-40, known as Gen-Y & Gen-X respectively operate in a very different mode.  Texting, tweeting and updating a status over a Grande Carmel Macchiatto can all be done before 7am.  This group has no need for a watch, because their cell phones have always told them what time it is.
How does this impact your business?  Well for one thing, this younger generation has incredible buying power.  Market research has shown us that the average consumer is getting younger and savvier all the time.  If you want to gain the confidence & ultimately the business of this powerful segment of the population, you need to be attractive and more importantly relevant to them.  One way to formulate that strategy is to first understand how the target audience thinks and lives.  However, defining the younger generation can be challenging because they are moving at the speed of light.
For this generation, technology is a way of life.  They don't need to "wrap their heads around it", they grew up with it.  They communicate in 140 characters or less.  They keep in touch with family & friends through "shared: photos and status updates, you tube videos and tweets.  Social media, technology & even reality tv has made transparency the new norm.  These younger consumers expect genuine, real communication and they want to know that anyone they work for, deal with or do business with "gets it".
As a sales professional it's important to attract people from across the spectrum and most importantly from these younger generations to truly build your business so that it can sustain in this decade and beyond.
Now, I want to be sure that I also state the importance of face to face communication as well.  I am in no way implying that technology or the internet will replace the value you offer your customer as a trained and experienced professional.  You will still need to engage in person to person networking and most deals will be struck sitting across the table from each other.
However, social media and the technology you implement in your business on a daily business will allow you to attract more clients and retain a different group of consumers than ever before.  Social media for example allows you to start a conversation with a new prospect as well as continue to communicate with your existing clients all at the same time.
So isn't it time to position yourself to connect with more clients in less time?  If you are not embracing technology, implementing social media in your everyday marketing is your business growing?  Consumers are looking for us in new and different ways. Technology is a fundamental aspect of everyday life for the younger generations and beyond - for communication, education, entertainment and naturally business. How will you step up, reach out and connect?

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