According to a 2016 Pew Research Center Report, Millennials between the ages of 20 and 34 make up 35 percent of the labor force in the United States. This group of young adults is now the largest generation in the workforce.
Millennials are also the most coveted audience for retailers and advertisers, including direct sales marketers. And while many people view direct sales as old school, in reality, direct sales carry natural advantages that perceptive salespeople can leverage to turn skeptical Millennials into brand loyalists. The five strategies below are especially well suited for direct sales marketers seeking to reach the Millennial market.
Be Social Media Savvy
Unlike previous generations who have adapted to the internet, Millennials are digital natives who grew up “liking”, swiping and posting selfies. Social media is also a natural environment for direct sales, where merchandisers can promote their products and service providers can post blog entries and social media updates.
Not only is social media much cheaper than conventional advertising — it’s also a more effective way of reaching a Millennial audience. In fact, according to Forbes, 62 percent of Millennials are more likely to become loyal to brands that engage them through social media.
Keep It Legit
Direct sales hasn’t always had the best reputation among the general population, including Millennials. However, one way to overcome misleading rumors like Amway did when accused of being a scam is to emphasize the fact that direct sales representatives are real people. Millennials respond to authentic stories about overcoming adversity or devoting time and effort to building a business. Direct sales companies should encourage their representatives to tell their individual stories along with describing great their products or services are.
Take a Personal Approach
Millennials value face-to-face interactions. This may seem contradictory in light of how much time they spend with digital devices, but this generation is all about making personal connections. The fact that direct sales are so dependent on face-to-face interactions is a definite advantage in reaching Millennials and turning them from prospects to paying customers.
Concentrate on Word of Mouth Marketing
Back in the day, TV, radio and newspaper ads represented the lion’s share of marketing and advertising. While those forms of advertising are still important, they don’t represent the primary way to reach the Millennial market. According to a Forbes article, 50 percent of Millennials are influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations. That’s good news for direct sales, which depends so much on customers telling their friends and family members about the outstanding service or product that they bought from a particular company.
Believe in Your Product
Millennials have a laser sense about whether someone is keeping it real or putting up a front. The best direct sales representatives are those who believe in their products, use those products and let their customers know about it. After all, if a company’s representatives aren’t sold on the products or services they are selling, why should potential customers purchase them?
Turning Millennials into Loyal Customers
Reaching the desirable Millennial market requires companies to rethink their marketing and advertising approaches. Authenticity, a personal approach and social media savvy are all essential elements to selling to Millennials. The direct sales industry has a natural advantage in these areas, which smart companies and representatives should leverage. That’s how to turn skeptical Millennial prospects into loyal customers that recommend a company’s products and services to their family and friends.