There is an interesting dynamic in our world today: For the first time ever, statistics indicate there are four generations working side by side in our country. Every generation is unique, individual and responds differently to marketing, branding and service efforts and will require businesses and sales people to become more aware of age diversity to improve our services and bridge communication gaps. Our newest challenge is to meet their varying demands by addressing their respective communication and service preferences and that means using traditional and electronic strategies.
Generational Dynamics is really a business application calling for the use of generational or age diversity information to enhance and improve business performance. This can be a powerful tool to enhance our marketing, branding communication and service efforts to connect with customers, employees, and clients.
The four generations we are referring to are:
The Civics: Age 61+
The Boomers: Age 44-60
GenXer: Ages 32-43
GenY/Millenial: Ages 14-31
Our focus must recognize the variation in these four groups and will change how we communicate by addressing their specific core values and preferences to help deliver their brand of service, and deliver it by using the ways and means they prefer, of which technology is paramount.
Here are some tips to accommodate the different generational groups.
Civics, or Matures, our greatest generation resonates at about 58 million. They have always demanded respect, especially from younger service providers. If you want to create a superior experience that will resonate with these consumers, we must infuse their service experience with respect, from the language we use, to our style of dress, and every aspect in between.
Sales people who master the "respect factor" with civic clients stand to gain significant competitive advantage. For this group, personal communication is key, and technology plays a lesser role in meeting their service requirements.
To engage a Civic, your communication should be written or spoken, using traditional formats. To this group, text messaging and text terms are considered rude and indecipherable. Don't assume Civics are low-tech, but know they value Face to face interaction.
The next generation is the Boomers:
Baby boomers value a "winnable" experience; they want to overcome obstacles and feel as though they conquered and won. Salespeople who can promise and deliver a victory, like delivering the service package of their dreams teamed with the best warranty for their needs demonstrates they "speak Boomer" and will develop long lasting, profitable relationships with these consumers. Boomers core values and preferences are dedication and sacrifice, hard work, conformity, stability, security, respect for authority and delayed gratification.
If you are in management, communicating with Boomers requires highlighting team goals, accomplishments posted where they can be seen. Email prevails as a communication tool,. and a growing segment of this group is texting, although their use lags behind GenX/Y, so avoid sending them text messages unless you know they are technically equipped to respond.
Gen X and Gen Y round out the group as the youngest two generations of consumers.
For Gen X- Values and preferences are work, self, involvement, personal gratification and community. "They are the 48 million strong and growing and are the original "latch key kids", They are fiercely independent, are highly technoliterate, skeptical, embrace change, and they look at work as just a job and enjoy autonomy.
There are several factors that are important for sales people to demonstrate when working with this group - primarily that they "speak Gen X and Gen Y."
With Xers, salespeople must communicate and demonstrate to this group of consumers the "Home Depot" approach, telling these consumers at every turn, "Yes, you can do this, but we can help."
They loathe "fluff" and require most often getting right to the point. They also require that companies and experts "walk their talk" and all communications should be supported with actions as well as words.