Now that we’re all woke af to millennials, have you considered Generation Z?
Marketers have already begun targeting these young people (the oldest of which are 24) because they are more likely than past generations to enter the workforce right out of high school, studies show. This often means that they become independent faster and are spending their own money faster.
Having grown up during the recession, Gen Zers are wary of taking on student loans and other hefty debts. They find YouTube and other online media useful educational tools for most skills they want to learn. High school CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) programs have been growing as well.
These tendencies and characteristics of Generation Z are good news for dealerships, which typically haven’t required their salespeople to have a college degree. The majority of knowledge regarding how to sell cars comes from on-the-job training and from inherent skills that can be honed.
There are specific things your dealership can do to stand out to these young people, and the importance of doing so should not be overlooked, according to We Are Futures (WAF) CEO Mark Fawcett. His company’s in-depth report “Building Brilliant Futures Today” revealed recommendations “designed to help any business deliver greater commercial and social impacts from their engagement with young people. And to avoid the competitive market risks of not doing so effectively, and immediately.”
The WAF study’s findings are combined with Recruiting Brainfood CEO Hung Lee’s recommendations from his recent podcast “How to Hire Early Career Talent” in forming the following tips.
Communicate like a ninja.
Communication comes first, and it starts with texting. Ends with texting too. OK, it’s all about texting. If you aren’t texting young people from day one and throughout their career with you because you think it’s unprofessional, you might come off as out-of-touch, Lee says. He recommends using TextRecruit for hiring if you don’t want to use your personal phone. Companies including Ford, Whole Foods, and UPS are using it with great success. Also, be sure that your main dealership software includes a texting option, such as AutoAlert’s Pando X. This provides a professional platform where employees can text without giving out their personal phone numbers.
Help build their confidence.
The WAF study also shows that Gen Z reports being less confident and less happy than previous generations. They need your support! They are also highly interested in personal development. Your dealership can stand out to young people by making real efforts to ensure their confidence, especially through building their skillset. Invest in tools that include video training (this is a YouTube-raised generation), and then follow up consistently to show that you care about their progress and their happiness. This group gets bored easily and embraces challenges, so don’t be afraid to load them up with training and tasks!
Value their input.
Generation Z is all about embracing diversity and playing fair, according to the WAF study. They also have an uncanny ability to detect fakeness. So show interest in them, and really listen to their point of view. Ask for their opinions. They don’t care so much that you act on their ideas, but they do want to be heard. Introduce new hires, even recruits, to higher-ups at your dealership right away. Because it is true that everyone on the team is needed and valued. When you show employees (especially Gen Zers) this, you’ll score big points … and their dedication.
Selling cars isn’t easy work. The Princeton Review calls successful car salespeople a unique combination of “businessman, advisor, and friend,” and notes that “the psychological aspect to the profession cannot be minimized,” regarding the ability to understand different customers’ needs.
So give new hires a lot of support right off the bat. Provide them with intelligent tools, like AutoAlert’s CXM, so that they’ll have a huge competitive advantage when it comes to understanding customer needs. Communicate their preferred way, value them, teach them the skills and strategies they need to be successful, and they’ll thrive.