If you’re in direct sales, you already know how important it is to understand each and every one of your customers. Depending upon their age group, every customer you come across is going to have certain needs and wants they’ll need met before they consider purchasing a product or service from you. Even though it would be wonderful if we could sum up every customer in a small handout or pamphlet, it’s a universal truth that no two customers are exactly alike. College students, especially, are a difficult group of individuals that you’ll have to pitch to in your career. For those of you who are looking to reel in more sales from college students, here are three techniques that will help you along in your endeavors.
Be upfront with them
Young adults can smell phony pitches and ingenuine advertisements from a mile away. They won’t engage in the typical “pitch” speech that most direct sales people rely on. Whenever you approach a college student, make sure to be upfront and honest with them about all that is encompassed in your product or service. Don’t attempt to sneak in long-term subscriptions or extra fees without telling them. Why, you might ask? Well, if you attempt to trick a college-aged customer, they likely make you pay for it. Remember, college students live in a boisterous generation that has been very vocal about how they feel about big government, big banks, and customer-service companies. Netflix, Bank of America, and Wall Street have all felt the wrath of college students’ opinions and protests; so if you want to keep your college customers, be upfront with them about everything. Don’t attach any strings and always shoot straight.
Be their friend, not their salesman
Personalization is a huge component of direct sales. Customers don’t just want to buy from some random stranger off the street; they want to buy from someone they have a relationship with. If you work hard enough at it, you can become a trustworthy sales source for your customers. It isn’t going to be easy, however. Your college-aged customers are going to be one of the most difficult groups to work with. They already have their guard up when you approach them, so do your best to focus on getting to know them first as opposed to jumping right into a pitch. Even if the person doesn’t buy from you right away, keep working to make them your friend, and when you feel the time is right, retry explaining your extraordinary product or service. Chances are they’ll trust you enough by then to accept your pitch.
Connect through websites and social media
Direct mail and phone calls are two of the worst ways to reach out to college students. They prefer to use social media, websites, and email to stay abreast of the latest news. Throughout their whole young-adult lives, college students have been constantly plugged into the evolving technological movement. Most of the things they’ll ever need to access – such as banking, shopping, and socializing – can be done right through their smartphones, computers, and tablets. So if you want to connect with your college audience, you have to have a product website and utilize social media tools as well. Make it easy for them to find you, but never bombard them with emails, tweets, and Facebook updates. If you want to share information regarding sales and promotions with your college audience, the best way to go about it would be to send out one email, two Facebook updates, and three tweets a day. By sticking to this formula, you’ll be able to stay on their radar without overwhelming them with information.
Direct sales is a tricky business, especially when you’re trying to do business with college students. If you’re having difficulty pitching to college students, try utilizing these three helpful tips.
Maria Rainier is a freelance education blogger and fulltime writer www.onlinedegrees.org. Rainier likes to write about topics related to online degrees and the future of higher learning. She is particularly passionate about life after college. Please share your comments with her.