Not Just Millennials: How to Work With an Older Demographic of Clients

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Dealing with an older demographic of customers or clients doesn't have to be hard, thanks to these tips.

Working with young clients has its challenges but so does working with older clients. Older clients can be new or ones that you have worked with for years and they are a valued loyal client.

This loyal client can cause some problems if they are stuck in their ways and want things to be done in the old school way.

Another challenge can be explaining how a new product or approach to a campaign can benefit the client or their business.

Regardless of what problem you encounter with your older client, there are plenty of things to do so this relationship stays healthy and your client keeps coming back.

Related Article:#TBT: Old School Tools Still Work for Small Business Marketing

Dealing With Technology

There will be some older clients that you have that might be even better with technology than your company is. On the other hand, there will be that older client that cannot seem to understand the easiest of processes whether it is online or inside a software. The most important thing is to explain the processes in a way that is not insulting. It can be difficult to explain the simplest of processes day after day or week after week. Dealing with this isn’t impossible but it will take being proactive and having a plan of attack.

How to deal with technically challenged clients: 

  • Writing out a step-by-step guide for clients when dealing with your technology is essential. This will free up staff time that they would spend emailing or on the phone clearing this up for the client.
  • Offer to send results of a campaign via email or even mail if they do not deal with technology at all.
  • Automate as many processes as possible in software or workflow so the client doesn’t spend copious amounts of time figuring things out.
  • During a weekly or monthly call, the client can address some issues that they have been having. This can allow your staff to only deal with this during the call instead of a few times a week. 

Not Willing to Adapt Strategy From the Old Days

All clients might want to use an outdated strategy that made them a lot of money in the past. This is completely natural. Many people want to stay with what has been working. This can be frustrating in the cases of marketing and advertising since a large portion of this now occurs online. Convincing your client to change their path might be difficult but it is possible.

  • Do a small test between the old and new approach. Most people can be convinced if the numbers are much higher with the new approach.
  • Show them a competitor that is using that approach or product to show them it is a viable thing to do.
  • Draw up a list of reasons with data associated to show the client that this is where the industry is going.

Related Article: User-Generated Content: Your Passionate Fans As Your Content Marketing Team

Might Not Comprehend What You Are Trying to Sell

There are plenty of industries where people have a hard time understanding what is a good deal and what isn’t. Investing in the stock market or financial planning is a perfect example of this. At times sales people can talk a bit too fast leaving a client feeling overwhelmed. This can make them feel as if someone is trying to pull a fast one on them. There are things that can be done about this to help clarify anything being said in a meeting or on a phone call.

  • Sending a recap email after a meeting or call will help clarify what was said. This is useful for the client and yourself as in the next meeting you will not have to cover the same thing over again.
  • Literature or online resources can be great to leave your client with. For example, a person looking into getting a reverse mortgage they might look at a guide with requirements and procedures. Listing out pros and cons of everything can gain trust. This will show there are cons but the pros heavily outweigh the cons.
  • During meetings have stopping points to allow the client to ask questions. You should do this anyway but you might want to do it a bit more with the older clients.
  • Avoid industry jargon and explain what you need to as clearly and concisely as possible.

Another Vendor Is Taking Advantage of Them

Older clients might not know what they are buying or what a campaign is doing for them. They just know that a competitor is doing this so they have to as well. A great example is SEO as some older clients haven’t heard of this but it is essential to running a successful business in today’s world. Companies that take advantage of older clients can lead a client to be suspicious of all companies in the space.

How to deal with another vendor taking advantage of an older client:

  • If the client is leaving a bad vendor or unfair one, it is important to show them that you get results. Quantitative data is the easiest thing to understand and in industries like marketing, the numbers are what matter. Money spent compared to conversions can show a client that you and your company do great work.
  • Do a small test campaign with this client to show the differences between your work and their former/current vendor.
  • Ask the client what the other vendors are doing for them and why they are considering leaving. This can show the difference in processes as well as quality. Some clients might not want to talk about it but unhappy clients generally are pretty loose-lipped about their problems.

Related Article:Swipe Right to Engage: How to Make Your Brand Match with Millennials

Clients of all ages have their issues but it is how you as a company deal with those issues that will determine client retention. Patience is key whoever the client you are dealing with is. Take this proactive approach above and keep your older clients happier on a regular basis.

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