Tip: Navigate the Generational Shift by Knowing Your Customers

Understand how your customers plan to shop and buy in the future.
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Prepare for the generational shift by understanding that your customer is going to change and it will have a profound impact on your business, according to Cam Marston, whose company, Generational Insights, helps clients understand generational differences, in Selling to the Next Generation.

Companies that don't keep pace with changing customer demands run the risk of losing touch and, eventually, losing market share.

“They look up one day and realize that that customer has passed them by, that that customer has changed, that they really don’t know as much as they thought they did,” Marston says.

This shift in mindset is critical. While millennials compose just 2 percent of employees of Industrial Supply Association members, according to a recent ISA ONE Strategic Report, their numbers will grow rapidly. It's estimated that, by 2026, more than half of the U.S. labor force will be composed of millennials and Gen Z. Today's entry level workers are tomorrow's CEOs.

Learning what millennials want begins by asking them. Problems arise when a company – no matter if it’s B2B or B2C, whether it sells primarily to boomers or millennials – gets overconfident thinking it knows who the customer is and what the customer wants.

According to Marston, “the question to always ask is ‘Who is my customer and how do I learn more about them?’ Not, ‘I know my customer and I’m going to deliver what I think they need.’”

Read more tips for doing business with millennials in Selling to the Next Generation.

 

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