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Selling in the next generation

Lucas Deal October 10, 2013

For the sports fans out there — how many of you know the term “youth movement”?

Incredibly common in baseball and hockey and somewhat visible in other sports, a youth movement refers to a decision made by an organization to fill a roster with young players.

And while the term doesn’t transfer perfectly to business, it doesn’t take more than a cursory glance at any industry event to see trucking isn’t having one.

In fact, this industry is aging.

But just because a youth movement hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it never will. In fact, most trucking industry leaders view a transition to a younger industry as inevitable. No one can work forever.

At some point in the near future a substantial portion of this industry is going to retire. When it does, expect some long-time selling strategies to go with it.

Today’s generation of young employees has its own way of doing business, and whether you hire them in your business or encounter them as customers, these kids are going to expect you to evolve.

Your company’s future success will be directly associated to your willingness to do so, says Jim Pancero, professional sales consultant.

Speaking at the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network’s Aftermarket Distribution Summit last month in California, Pancero urged his audience to accept and adapt the selling tactics of a new generation.

“We aren’t just selling to our peers anymore. We’re starting to sell to an entirely different generation,” he says. “If we don’t change, we will become obsolete.”

Pancero describes today’s newest employable generation as trendsetters, and the first generation to grow up in the information age.

These people are used to having information at their fingertips, he says, and recognize if there’s information they don’t know about a product they can quickly find it online.

Product demos were a premier selling strategy once. Today’s purchasers have thousands of product demos at their fingertips on YouTube. Your 30-minute demonstration simply isn’t going to sell them, Pancero says.

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