Tips for Selling to Millennials

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Millennials have had some challenges so far in their adult lives. They’ve had to live through the tough recession, are drowning in student loans, and are not making as much money due to the poor job outlook they faced when they were starting their careers. But there are signs they are bouncing back and are now embracing home ownership.

Millennials are those born roughly between 1980 and 2000, so many of them are in their 20s and 30s, getting married, starting families, and buying houses. According to a 2015 study by the National Associate of Realtors,® the largest group of recent buyers was the millennial generation.1 With home ownership comes the need for construction work, maintenance, and new roofs. Many contractors have already been working with this generation, but it’s important to note the differences between millennials and the generations that have come before them.

According to an October 2014 White House study,2 millennials are:

  • The first generation to have access to the Internet during their formative years. Much of the technological innovations have occurred in their childhood, so they are savvy with technology and are connected with everybody.
  • More diverse than any other generation—42 percent identify with a race that is non-Hispanic white.
  • More educated—61% attended college compared to 46% of Baby Boomers.
  • Getting married later—the average age is up to 29 for women and 26 for men.
  • Dealing with a lot of student loan debt—it’s now over $1 trillion.

With these differences in mind, here are some tips on how to sell services to this generation:

  • Make sure you have a social media presence that is up to date and relevant. Millennials are technically savvy and socially aware, so communicating to them means you need to be on their level. Don’t go walking in with your flip phone—while they will get a good laugh, they will likely not take you seriously.
  • Make the sell short and to the point. This generation is very busy, so you have limited time to pitch and make a good impression. Explain everything clearly and set realistic expectations.
  • Be authentic. This group will pick apart what you are saying and find holes because they do their research and will read up on your business and your competitors.
  • Use apps. This generation is very visual, so showing colors and style in a digital format will help win them over. Check out GAF’s apps including the Virtual Home Remodeler and GAF Roofing Wizard® apps.
  • Appeal to their environmental side. If you can offer shingle recycling or other options that are safer for the environment, that will definitely resonate with your millennial client.

While there are definitely differences between the generations, every group values an honest, genuine, and trustworthy contractor. Those qualities will lead to sales in all buying segments.

Have you had experience selling roofing to the millennial generation? Did you do anything different to cater to their needs? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

1 2015 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Study
2 2014 15 Economic Facts About Millennials



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  1. Chris Davidson

    I’m a Millenial, who is out selling roofs to Millenials and the most important point in this post has got to be understanding the customer is doing their research. With just a few clicks they can find out everything about the materials, your company, and reputation. Knowing this has been a huge asset to our sales techniques and helping vet questions some customers may not even know they had.

  2. Shawn McCadden

    Thanks for the helpful info. My take away is that contractors either need to learn how to sell and market to the millennials or stick to who they have already been successful selling to. At the same time, contractors planning to be in business for the next 20 or more years better study up. The Millenials will quickly become the majority spending money on remodeling and home improvements.

  3. Dena Elie

    Well said Liza! NRLB campaigns speak to millennials on several of the bullets – giving roofing pros great social content, presence on the NRLB app, and a cause to believe it – which 84% of American consumers will change brands to support.

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