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8 Ways to Make Your Store More Millennial-Friendly

These are things you can do right now to adapt to this terrifying generation.

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YESTERDAY’S PLUMB CLUB breakfast featured keynote speaker Jason Dorsey, whom you may have seen mentioned in numerous articles (including in INSTORE) or on TV news networks talking about millennials. He’s a generational expert and the author of Y-Size Your Business. He’s also a pretty fantastic speaker who had some insights on millennials and the newer Gen Z that I hadn’t heard before — or, well, remembered … I do have an aging Gen X brain, after all.

Here, from his talk, are eight specific things you can do right now to adapt to this terrifying generation:

1. Use the words “unique,” “special” and “one of a kind” in every sales presentation. The worst thing you can do, Dorsey says, is make a millennial think he or she is going to look like anyone else.

2. In the selling process, jump to the end and paint a picture of the outcome; show them how great their lives will be once they’ve made a purchase. Dorsey maintains that his research shows the millennial mind is non-linear in its thinking and that they are actually “massively compliant” buyers if you show them the outcome first.

3. When a millennial asks a question, say, “Wow, that’s a great question.” — no matter how stupid or annoying it may be — “Have you done some research online? I can tell.” (And not “I can tell” in the sarcastic way you may well be thinking!) Affirm millennials by asking them questions yourself.

4. Give them the VIP intro. Go up, introduce yourself, and then — and here’s the trick — say, “I’d like to introduce you to [X associate].” Dorsey says that millennials’ trust goes up dramatically when a team is working with them. It suggests that “If you buy from us, we’ll all have your back.”

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5. Don’t ask them if they’d like to be photographed with their new purchase. Instead, say, “How about I use your phone to take a picture of you with your new purchase?” They’ll never say no if it’s their own phone. Then say, “Hey, if you’d like, feel free to tag us on the photo if you share it.” They will.

6. Millennials trust a local connection above all else. They value local over big. Play up your local-ness on your website and in your social media.

7. Regarding hiring millennials, recognize that the most important day of work in your store is their first. When they show up on their first day, present them with business cards that already have their name printed on them. Dorsey says that many millennials make up their minds about how long they will stay in a job by lunchtime the first day. Make those first few hours unforgettable.

8. Again on hiring: Millennials will do a background check on you before joining your team. Make your LinkedIn profile likeable to a millennial: Have an approachable photo, impart information in your own profile that suggests you’re a human being and not just a businessperson.

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