Closing More Sales with Millennial Clients

Monday, August 31, 2015

Millennials, the generation born between 1979-2000, tend to seek feedback when making decisions. There are several reasons for this: one being that they grew up in families where their opinion was valued and the majority were encouraged to weigh in on family decisions such as where the next vacation should be. Another being that they grew up in an educational system that focused on teamwork. Decisions in the classroom usually had to be made in small groups with each student sharing their opinion and taking into account everyone else's in order to reach a new, improved solution. "Two heads are better than one" is a mantra this generation has lived by since Kindergarten.

Because of this, getting a millennial client to make a decision — especially a decision that requires spending thousands of dollars, such as wedding catering menus, photography, or design and decor concepts — can seem like a losing battle. It can seem like your clients today are wishy-washy, permanently affixed to the fence, and unable to decide anything on their own.

If you want to close more sales — and at higher price points — allow your millennial clients more time to make decisions than you may be used to and give them permission to seek feedback from their friends and family. This can be as simple as saying, "I want you to be comfortable with your decision, so bounce these ideas off your family and friends and get their opinions, and I'll check back with you on Wednesday to see what you've decided and we'll go from there." 

Yes, this means adjusting your workflow to allow more time than you're accustomed to. Yes, you are still the professional and expert. However, if a millennial client feels pressured to make a decision without the comfort of their peer group weighing in, they will end up resenting hiring you in the first place, it will sour their overall experience and it will affect your future referrals.

Give your millennial clients time and permission to seek feedback but also give them a deadline (padded for your behind-the-scenes needs) so that they know when decisions need to be made by. Setting the pace is up to you as the professional, but the pace you set needs to take into account the way your clients prefer to work.

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