Home Industry News Releases Selling to Different Generations: Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z

Selling to Different Generations: Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z


Last week I presented tips on selling to the Silent Generation and Boomers. Today we examine selling to the younger generations: Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z.

Gen X

Gen X sometimes seems to get lost between Baby Boomers and Millennials. However, it is time to start paying attention as according to American Express, “Gen X controls 31% of the total income dollar in the U.S. economy.”

With this generation it is important to be authentic as they can easily spot when you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes or charging more than they think your products are worth

Gen X also is looking for security for themselves and their families as they cruise into middle age. When they buy, they want to be reassured that they are making a sensible purchase. They don’t mind paying the price, as long as they are convinced that the product is worth it.


The Millennials are the why generation. They want to know why they should buy the product and how it will benefit them. The story that you tell them about your products and company is as important (if not more important) than the product itself.

Telling them why you choose to do what you do is an important part of the sales process. To quote Simon Sinek, who wrote the book, “Starting with Why”, “When you tell someone What and How you educate them, when you tell them Why you inspire them. When someone is inspired, they are much more likely to buy.”

Millennials are on the phone much of the time, so encourage them to give you their cell number so you may text them (not too often). They will also respond to emails, if (and it’s a big if) you have a strong subject line. Additionally, blogging is a great way to keep up with Millennials.


The leading edge of GEN Z is now old enough to drink and buy wine. This is a different generation as they are more ethnically diverse. By 2020 Gen Z will account for 40% of all consumers. This generation is more cost conscious and they like to feel and see what they are buying in person, rather than do all their buying online. They are willing to spend money of products but want to know that they are worth what they are paying. They also are concerned with ecology. This generation also likes to multi-task and their attention span is about 7 seconds. When speaking to this generation, present your main points to them quickly.

While every generation is different, we all have one thing in common: We want to be treated well and appreciated. Do that and you won’t go wrong.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth Slater

E Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.



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