When you pick up your smartphone, how long does it take you to unlock it and bring up your social media feed?  Can you do it without looking at it?  For most people, the answer is yes.  Chances are, you either grew up with modern technology or have been using it for long enough that it is second nature to you.  However, if your target market includes the baby boomers (people born in the years following the end of World War II), things like technology aren’t as easily mastered.  Consider the following suggestions to make your customer relationships with baby boomers more effective.

  • Make sure your message is simple and clear.  There could be a number of reasons why a senior citizen needs your message to be this way.  As we age, it is more and more difficult to tune out background noise when having a conversation.  Also, the brain may take longer to process information than it did in our youth.  For reasons such as these, be sure to stick to the main point of your message and convey it clearly.  Speak at a normal pace with good diction, compose written documents like emails with proper spelling and grammar (you should be doing this anyway!), and avoid using business jargon when choosing your words.  Remember seniors are not less intelligent than others; they just may have different needs from you as their salesperson.
  • Be organized.  This applies to all aspects of your customer interactions including emails, phone calls, and your general sales process.  For example, when talking on the phone with a customer, make sure you have organized your agenda for the call ahead of time.  There is nothing more chaotic and confusing than being on the other end of a conversation with someone who jumps from one topic to another with no rhyme or reason.  It might help to either use a script to refer to or rehearse you end of the call before you pick up that phone.  Other organization must-do’s include streamlining your sales process, making returns/exchanges easy, and simplifying paperwork by highlighting or flagging the sections that a customer needs to complete.
  • Be more personable.  Much of our interaction with others comes in some electronic form: a text message, Facebook post, tweet, or email.  As convenient as these methods of communicating are, they come with a disadvantage.  We don’t have as many chances to talk with each other the old-fashioned way.  It is a good idea to brush up on your people skills, especially when working with older clients who likely feel most comfortable dealing with someone in person.  Make sure you have good eye contact, use appropriate body language (don’t cross your arms since it’s a non-verbal way of closing someone off), smile, and show that you are listening by responding to the other person when necessary.  Making others comfortable and being able to provide pleasant customer experiences are extremely valuable skills to any potential customer, especially one who is a senior citizen.

As a direct seller you need to understand and connect with your target market. The “greatest generation” has much to offer in knowledge and wisdom; make sure you return the favor by giving its members an overall customer experience that is second to none.

So, how do you reach the Boomer market? Share your answers with us in the comments below. What other suggestions or comments would you like to share?

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