The newsLINK Group - Selling Cars to Gen Y

Editorial Library Category: Automobile Topics: Selling Title: Selling Cars to Gen Y Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: For any car dealership, it makes sense to focus on the people who are most likely to have, and spend, money. That group, increasingly, is Gen Y. Editorial: Selling Cars to Gen Y 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 For any car dealership, it makes sense to focus on the people who are most likely to have, and spend, money. That group, increasingly, is Gen Y: It has 85 million people in it, all born between 1975 and 1995, making it the biggest generation in U.S. history. You thought they were outnumbered by the Baby Boom generation? They aren’t. Between 1946 and 1964, the Baby Boom years, 76 million babies were born in the U.S. That’s a lot, but it isn’t as much as Gen Y. Collectively, they have deep pockets: an impressive $1.5 trillion to spend every year. They buy a fourth of all the cars currently being sold, and in ten years, they’ll buy almost 40 percent. At many dealerships, they are already spending more money than the Baby Boom generation. That’s all well and good, but there is a problem. The people in Gen Y often don’t think it is necessary to get a car, and they don’t see it as something that identifies them. Less materialistic (at this point) than their parents, they tend to see cars, insurance, and repairs as nothing more than an expense; they certainly don’t view car ownership as a necessity, or as something that defines who they are — for that, they’ve got their smart phone, right? They also like technology and social media, and they care very much about the environment. If they feel cut off from their friends while they drive, and if they think their car is hurting the environment, those are both things they don’t like. Should you find a different profession? The answer is no (unless you don’t like selling cars). But at the same time, you will need to adapt to changing times if you want to stay in business or, better yet, make a good living. With that in mind, the most successful car dealerships will be the ones to focus on two things: 1. What Gen Y is like. 2. What Gen Y wants. How do you sell to Gen Y? First, you have to understand what they are like. They are generally confident, and were taught from a young age that they are unique and that their voice matters. They’re right about mattering. They are already a significant market force. By 2017, they will be outspending the Baby Boomers. They can be slow to get a driver’s license. It used to be that people got their license sometime during their sixteenth year. Now the average age is 23, and more than 30 percent of those between the ages of 19 and 25 haven’t bothered to get one at all. Instead, they are more likely to walk, bike, or use mass transit. This is already affecting our society. Driving has decreased 23 percent over the last ten years, approximately, while biking has increased 122 percent and walking has increased 37 percent. They think it’s all about them. Someone in this group is much less interested in your background and qualifications than in what you can do specifically to benefit their life, their interests, and their future. People have been selling things to Gen Y for their entire lives. As a result, they recognize any sales pitch very early … and they don’t like it. Other generations are adopting many of their opinions and approaches. Everyone uses the Internet and the social media found there; just about everyone uses the same technology, even if not to the same extent. If you can sell to Gen Y, you can sell to anyone. They are casual — for example, many of them have tattoos, their footwear is often one step away from being barefoot, and they tend to love T-shirts. Don’t pay attention to superficial choices in their dress and grooming, or you will miss the fact that they wield an unusual amount of financial power. They love getting things that are either free or don’t cost much. That goes double for free Wi-Fi. Cell phones and text messages are a major part of their lives. They send hundreds of text messages throughout the day and think nothing of it.