I’ve been spending a lot of time recently with a certain generation of sales people, my generation of sales people. The ages vary from 45-65+ and there are a few things in common. One of the hallmarks of this generation of sales people is their ability to develop good relationships with buyers. Those relationships were based upon similar interests, shared experiences and a history of integrity – doing what you say you are going to do.  The problem is that these are not valued in the same way in the new generation of buyer.  For the new generation of buyer, it is less about kids, sports, vacations and jokes. They have less time, are more data-driven and are discouraged or forbidden from entertainment with vendors.


  1. Relevance – You need to be insightful for them about their market, industry, competitors and customers. They want to know what you know about their world rather than your product or service.
  2. Language – Your language needs to be sharper. Specific, numeric claims and metrics for performance are critical over generalizations of “better, more, faster.”
  3. Value – They want to know how to explain, and more importantly to show others in their company, your comparative value with metrics.
  4. Integrity – You have to do what you say you will do when you say you will do it, every time. Fortunately, this hasn’t changed.
New buyers are not looking for new friends. They are looking for new trusted sources of solutions. Friendship comes a lot later in the new world.

For further reading on ways to get your buyer to view you as a trusted solution check out my blog, A Sales Technique That Leaves Everyone Happy.
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