With Millennials joining Baby Boomers and Gen Xers as a major force in the consumer market, we now have three big generational segments deciding what products deserve their dollars. Now more than ever, it is important for you, as an associate selling Reverie power bases, to tailor your communication with customers in a way that takes into account their generational cohort. Here are our tips on the best way to communicate with Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials when it comes to selling a lifestyle base.
Pew research states that the Baby Boomer generation consists of those born between the years 1946 to 1964. This would place them between the ages of 55 to 73 in 2019. This generation’s name comes from the enormous population boom that came right after the end of World War II, making them the generation with the highest population (with Millennials now close to overtaking).
Generations expert Phil Gwoke, a member of the generations research and education company Bridgeworks and one of our esteemed speakers at Reverie’s 2019 Innovation Summit, tells us that the thing to remember about Baby Boomers is that they are much more active than their parents or grandparents were at their age. A big reason for this is advancements in healthcare and medical technology, which are allowing people across generations to have longer life spans.
How to connect with Baby Boomers:
Show them how they’re getting the competitive edge. With such a high number of peers in their cohort, Baby Boomers had to go the extra mile, and then the mile after that, just to stand out in the crowd. This means that you can make the lifestyle base even more appealing to a Boomer by talking about the luxurious benefits of a power base that those with a flat bed are all missing out on.
Don’t skip over the tech features either! As Phil said in his presentation, “[A] mindset [that a lot of us have] is that as people get older, they don’t want to embrace change anymore. The truth of the matter is that many Baby Boomers are early adopters of change.” So feel free to tell them about the Bluetooth capabilities of the base and the convenience of the Nightstand app!
Talk about the health benefits. As mentioned above, Baby Boomers are so active thanks to the fact that they take advantage of modern health solutions and are serious about their well-being. This is a great opportunity to highlight the many health benefits provided by Reverie lifestyle bases, such as open airways, increased blood flow, and a better night’s sleep, which comes with its own host of benefits like maintaining heart health and increasing energy.
Talk about our credentials. Boomers tend to care more about the company behind a product than they do even about the differences between individual products. Phil Gwoke stresses that what Baby Boomers are looking for in a company is expertise—they want to know that they’re buying from a company that puts brains and know-how into their product. This means it’s your time to brag about Reverie—tell your Boomer customers about our first-rate engineers and designers, our advisory board made up of practicing scientists and doctors, and about our history of producing one-of-a-kind innovative sleep products.
Generation X consists of those born between 1965 to 1980, making the current age range of Gen Xers somewhere between 39 to 54, or what we’d typically call “middle-age”. This often-ignored generation has a substantially smaller population than both Baby Boomers and Millennials, but, despite their smaller size, Gen Xers are currently the furniture and bedding industry’s prime consumer, with the highest income out of all generations and an average age of 44.3.
How to connect with Gen Xers:
Don’t discount their interest in new technologies. While this generation has come into middle-age, it’s important to remember they are no strangers to new technology. The 70s, 80s, and 90s saw a flood of new tech hitting the market, from computers, to video games, to cell phones and more. So it’s important to highlight the cutting edge innovations that come with Reverie lifestyle bases, such as precision lumbar support, Nightstand app compatibility and 3D-Wave™ massage.
Instead of taking the lead, be a resource. During Phil’s presentation, one of the key attributes of Gen Xers he highlighted was their independence, their desire to do things for themselves, to think for themselves. This inclination toward independence, combined with a high amount of exposure to marketing in their formative years, has led them to view sales presentations in a more skeptic light. Phil’s advice is to let go of the reins a bit—give your Gen X customer the relevant information about the power base and offer to give them additional info if they need it.
Reassure them that a Reverie lifestyle base won’t disappoint. Similar to Baby Boomers, Gen Xers want to be reassured that the company behind the product is dependable. Whereas Boomers are seeking expertise, for Gen Xers it’s more of a matter of calming their doubts (there’s that skepticism again!). Phil explains: “When working with a Gen Xer, you want to embrace their skepticism with honesty and proof....Xers have seen so many things...go wrong in our formative years. We just want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Millennials are defined as those born in the years ranging from 1981 to 1996, making their current age range fall between 23 and 38. Yep, you read that right—“those young Millennials” are right on the cusp of middle-age! They’re also becoming an economic force in their own right: Millennial income has increased 21.1% since 2014, and, combined with Gen X, they account for 59.6% of all furniture and bedding spending. The takeaway: this generation should not be taken for granted! They are at an age when they are starting families and moving into homes, and a lifestyle base fits right in to this entry into adulthood.
How to connect with Millennials:
Speak in terms of making an upgrade. Technology is such a crucial part of the experience of Millennials that one of the alternate titles for this cohort is The Upgrade Generation. Millennials have been born and raised in an era when tech innovation moves at a neckbreak speed, from one update to the next, and the desire for what’s new and next is strong. This is a great way to frame the Reverie lifestyle base for your Millennial customers. The lifestyle base is the future of sleep, perfectly fit for the age of customizability, making all the inflexible and uncomfortable flat beds outdated.
Talk about the experience. Just because you’ve heard it everywhere doesn’t mean it isn’t true: Millennials are all about the experience. A power base on a sales floor won’t be enough to convince them. When your Millennial customer is laying on the bed and going through the demonstration, make sure to try and paint a picture of the real-life uses of the lifestyle bed, and the different scenarios (such as raise-awake in the morning) in which the bed will be make their life run smoother.
Tell them what others have said. Where Boomers and Gen Xers are concerned with the company behind the product, Millennials tend to judge products individually, based on their reviews. User reviews are extremely important to Millennials—they want to know that this product has solved problems for others that they have as well. Make sure to share with Millennial customers the testimonials of happy Reverie customers (which can be viewed here or read on the product pages here).
Good idea at any age: listening!
No matter the customer, you can’t go wrong following this one simple tip: just listen. Let your customer tell you what they need, get feedback from them on the different products, and let their behavior guide how you sell to them. You can’t tell how every single person will behave and respond simply based on their age, but the tips above should serve as a rough outline for what resonates most with the members of different generations.
Looking for more great tips on selling? Check out our blog on the two most common customer objections and how you can overcome them, with advice from Reverie National Director of Training Nick Colello.