I’m a Generation Xer. A Baby Buster. Part of the MTV generation. I grew up without the internet and witnessed the explosion of the PC. I remember watching the Challenger shuttle explode on live TV. I got a Sony Walkman tape player for Christmas one year and binged on Michael Jackson’s Thriller for days. If I ever hear the song “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake it brings a little smile to my face (so many memories). I have a pretty good understanding of how to talk to other Gen X’ers because I am one.
But I market and sell to Boomers and Seniors.
I’m not a Boomer. I’m not a Senior. I’m an Xer. We don’t have the same shared experiences. We don’t have the same perspective on life. We don’t talk the same. We don’t think the same. We don’t have the same needs, goals or values.
If I try to market and sell to a Boomer or Senior the way I want to be marketed and sold to it would be a complete disaster. If I want to get those clients I have to learn how they think; how they view life; how they want to be marketed and sold to. This is something most fitness professionals don’t fully understand.
They get the concept but they don’t realize how deep this rabbit hole goes.
Here is the weight of the matter: Generational differences can unknowingly be sabotaging your marketing efforts! If you really want your business to grow then you have to figure this out.
Here are some great tips on selling to the Baby Boom generation from Generational Selling Tactics that Work by Cam Marston.
How to Engage the Boomer Customer
• Be Optimistic: They are an optimistic bunch. You need to match that level of optimism through an upbeat style.
• Use face-to-face communication: It’s personal with Boomers and nothing beats getting personal with someone then sitting down with them face to face.
• Help them get control of their time and surroundings: They are busy, busy, busy and are looking for solutions that can help them be more efficient.
• Provide a sense of teamwork: They want an authority to help them but they don’t want to be told what to do. Include them in the decision-making process.
• Offer customized solutions: Boomers are used to having life tailored to them. Offering one-size-fits-all solutions fall flat with this group. Allow them the opportunity to create an offer that is “just for them”.
• Don’t make them feel old: They may be in their 60’s with grandchildren but that doesn’t mean they have any intention of getting or feeling old. In fact, that is why many of them have come to your fitness facility in the first place.
• Don’t be afraid to sell: Ask for their business. Ask to move to the next step in the process. They aren’t afraid of advertising and sales and if there is no pitch they may feel like you do not value them or their business.
How to Build a Sales Relationship with Boomers
• Court them: Go where they go. Do what they do. Take the time to spend time getting to know them in the community. Arts events, charities, special occasions…find out where your ideal clients spend their time and join them there to start building those relationships.
• Appeal to their sense of ego: The Boomers are proud of what they’ve accomplished and the work ethic they value. Let them know that you respect and admire them.
• Help them feel visionary: They want to feel like they are a part of something that is bigger than themselves. Their fitness program isn’t about them but also about their children, grandchildren and others around them. Let them know that your business supports other local charities and by doing business with you they will help you help other people.
• Appeal to their sense of nostalgia: Connect with the peak experiences from their past when it is natural to do so. Allow Boomers the opportunity to take a little walk down memory lane.
Remember, it’s all about THEM. As a fitness entrepreneur you have to be willing to change what you are doing and how you are doing it in order to be more effective in reaching a different generation than yours.
Our amazing lineup at the 2017 Functional Aging Summit will give you the tools and strategies you need to grow your business with the growing mature adult population.
Functional Aging Summit
June 15 – 18, 2017