Nate Holzapfel: Secrets to selling to the millennial mindset
Thursday, August 03, 2017
DALLAS — Tasked with energizing the crowd for the second day of the Sunbelt Builders Show, Nate Holzapfel took the center stage to engage with audience members on "building business relationships."
Holzapfel is co-founder of The Mission Belt Company, but he's most famously known for his appearance on ABC's hit show "Shark Tank," in which he blew away all the sharks on deck with his work ethic, common-sense approach and sales savvy.
Nate brought his sales strategies to all the members of this year's Texas Association of Builders' trade show, and he gave an open and honest discussion on what needs to happen next for businesses to start selling again in this age of digital disruption.
"I hate to break it to you, but the old way of selling is dead," Holzapfel said. "The Internet is a horrible, scary thing — and it came out and destroyed everything."
He says the Internet is to blame for what he calls the millennial mindset. It isn't the generation's problem, specifically, but rather the info-driven mentality that has been brought into fruition in an age when the competition is no longer two miles down the road, but simply an inch down the computer screen.
He says you can now do and learn anything online, and even sell something you know nothing about. Competitors can come off as just as capable as you, and literally know nothing about the product. The Internet has created a battlefield — anyone can market himself as a professional in anything online.
Holzapfel says the solution to this problem boils down to one thing: Stop trying to figure out how to solve your own business problems, and start solving your customers. Here are some of his tips on how to move forward with millennial-mindset customers.
Make them the star of your show
"People love talking about themselves," he said. "One selling mistake people make is they seem to think that the customers want to know about you and your commonalities. But the reality is, nobody cares!"
When interacting with a potential customer, Holzapfel says the key is asking questions and finding out about them. It isn't an interrogation; it's information gathering for when it comes time to hit the negotiating table.
Customers like to talk about what it is going on, so give them the opportunity to address it. Place them center stage.
You have to love people
Holzapfel says the key to addressing the millennial mindset is caring about your customers "so darn much they can feel it through the screen."
Humans are emotional creatures who think they are making decisions with logic. He believes the truth is they make buying decisions on how that business and their interaction made them feel.
Customers are looking for sellers who are listening to their needs, not treating them like just a piece of meat with a wallet. If you give them roadmap of where you can take them and follow up throughout the journey, you will have not only new business, but future referrals along the way.
Never make it about price
"Some of the happiest customers I had were the ones that bought something from me full price," Holzapfel said.
While that might go against the grain in terms of feeling honest, he says, the reality is that it should never be about what they paid, but whether they got what they wanted.
Holzapfel believes that if you start with price, that is all the conversation will ever be about. Prospective buyers will never see that all of your customers prior to them were 100 percent satisfied. They will never realize the importance of the high quality and care you can deliver.
Let them tell you what they want, and the trust you build will supersede the price.
Holzapfel realizes the new and current ways of selling can be daunting with this new generation of buyers, but he encouraged the audience members that it is nothing to fear. The bottom line is people do business with people they like, so don't give them a reason not to.
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