February 2, 2010

How to Bridge the Generation Gap between You and Your Client

By Selling Power Editors

Did you know that your chances for making a sale decreases proportionally to the age difference between you and your prospect?

A recent study among insurance salespeople revealed that if the age difference is less than nine years, the average insurance salesperson sells to one out of three prospects. If the age difference is over nine years, the closing ratio is reduced to one in four. Our own studies revealed that age differences of more than 10 years can create an increasing number of tension signals (expressed by the younger person) and withdrawal signals (expressed by the older person). You can bridge the generation gap to the older prospect by "tuning down" your own nonverbal expressions during the call. This means to show increasingly relaxed postures and movements as well as poised behavior. Avoid "echoing" the older client’s posture. Avoid exaggerated and sudden switches from slower to faster movements. Imagine how you would act, feel, and think at your prospect’s age. Visualize yourself prior to the call being 10, 20, or 30 years older.

You can bridge the generation gap to the younger client by "tuning up" your own nonverbal expressions. This means to show increased enthusiasm, mental readiness, and flexibility. Avoid becoming increasingly excited. Try to be complementary. Imagine how you acted, felt, and thought at the younger prospect’s age. If you are able to bridge the generation gap, you will be able to increase your sales by 10-12 percent!!!