Different clients; Different communications styles
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Sales Tips

Different clients; Different communications styles

November 7, 2014

by Tony Vidler

An interesting chart caught my eye recently on the communication preferences of different segments of the marketplace.  Broken down into just 2 simple segments:

a. Those under 45 years of age

b. Those over 45 years of age

Conclusion:  those under age 45 are far more likely to prefer technology for communications.

Actually though, I think there is just a little bit more to this….clearly there is a majority preference in older age groups for a human conversation – whether that is in person or over the phone, it is a preference to talk to a human being – and that is no massive surprise.  Maybe that’s why people my age rage at customer service hotlines that are a frenzy of pushing numbers and hashtags without ever contacting a live human.

The real insight for me from this graph is not that the Under 45’s prefer to use technology, but the reason behind that observation.  WHY do they prefer to use technology?

I suspect it is nothing to do with the technology or particular communications channel chosen in the main.  It is about speed.

For the younger segment it is about speed of delivery, and I suspect also with such a high proportion liking email that it is also about them having all the information to digest at their leisure.  So my take on this is if you were going to have two broad ways of tackling these very very large market “segments”, it would be:

a.  for younger people:  get lots of relevant information – not meaningless guff – to them fast.  Then let them choose the pace of engagement thereafter – but maintain a presence while they digest it.  Be prepared to spend time waiting.

b. for older people: Get them an executive summary of the relevant information fairly quickly, and then follow up with a conversation explaining it fairly fast.  Be prepared to spend time talking.

There is the difference between the generations broadly as I see it.

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