Networking. How many times do you hear this word? Sure, we all know that it’s important part of business, but oftentimes, connecting with strangers can be intimidating. Prospects come in all shapes, sizes, and ages, and knowing how to network with different generations can help you not only nail your networking strategy but also land more clients in the long run.
Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
The baby boomer generation grew up and worked in a time before we relied so heavily on technology. This means that their relationships were centered around human connections. When networking to this generation, take advantage of their strong emphasis on building real relationships, and try to connect on a human level. Bring up topics that you both can relate to so a relationship can be formed from the start. When following up, skip sending an email and add a personal touch by either picking up the phone or writing a handwritten note.
Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1980)
While baby boomers rely on human connections, Generation Xers are naturally more independent. They like to think for themselves and problem solve on their own. When networking to this generation, try not to place as much emphasis on building a relationship with them, but provide them with enough information for them to be able to make a decision down the line. Let them know the benefits of connecting with you and how your products or services can change their lives.
Millennials (born after 1980)
While this generation tends to get a bad rep, connecting with them can be extremely valuable for your business. Millennials are generally more open-minded than other generations and possess an immense amount of confidence. When networking, use these characteristics to your advantage and leverage your skills. Let them know that what you offer differs from your competitors. In addition, tailor your follow up strategy around this generation’s appreciation for technology by sending them an email, text message, or connecting on social media.
While networking to different generations can be tricky, use the above tips to ensure that you’re making the most out of your opportunities.
Everyone should understand each generation. Download or share on social media our generational infographic.