Santa Barbara Business Network


Direct Sales with Today's Technology – How to engage Millennials

Group of Millennials

How to Attract Millennials to Your Direct Sales Company

Who are the Millennials?

“Millennials are technologically connected, ethnically diverse, socially conscious, and are much more segmented as an audience due to the rapid expansion of communication channels such as cable TV, satellite radio, and the Internet.  Millennials are less brand loyal, and due to the speed of the Internet have a much higher demand for instant information and instant gratification.  They are flexible and fluid in changing fashion, style, and how they engage with their peers through different communication technologies.  They value convenience, recognition, and community.  This is the group that is the fastest growing segment building eBay storefronts and Etsy shops.  Millennials are entrepreneurial, and have little interest in joining a company and staying for their entire career.  Millennials also have a higher unemployment rate than the general population.” ~ The Sassy Suite Team

“Make the direct sales business model flexible enough to appeal to someone who has the hustle, but can do it on her own terms, in her own way, on her own timeline.  Provide the training on how to be a brand ambassador, while still having her own personal brand and voice.” ~ The Sassy Suite Team

Direct Selling is a Hit for Millennials

  • The millennial generation is the largest demographic since the Baby Boomers.
  • Millennials are tech savvy, ethnically diverse, and socially aware.
  • Millennials put a high value on convenience, loyalty, and recognition.

How do you connect with Millennials?

1. Go where they are

Millennials born between 1980 to 1990 tend to stay on Facebook and Twitter
Millennials born 1990 to 2000 tend to be more into Instagram, Snapchat and custom apps.

2. Make direct sales more flexible to appeal to their on-the-go lifestyle

Millennials value the flexibility to be creative, and desire to make their unique mark on the world.

As customers, they need the comfort of using the product or service without hassle or time restraints.

3.  Adopt new technology

Millennials are fluent in internet language; encourage them to use the new technology for a wider reach.  They can quickly build communities with their freedom to use the technology for their business.

4. Be open to teach and learn

Millennials are smart, clever and witty.  Encourage them to learn and become experts in their niche. As they learn more about the company and it’s product or services, the company can benefit from learning how the internet and tech tricks can bolster the company reach and heighten sales.

Commentary from Sandy Goe:

As an Independent Distributor (Direct Sales Representative) for many years – first with Avon (1996-2007), and later with Premier Designs Jewelry (2006-2014), I recognize the changes that are necessary to maintain relevance and communicate in today’s world of technology and the birth of a new generation of buyers.  Successful long-established companies such as Avon (since 1886), Shaklee (since 1915), Premier Designs Jewelry (since 1985), Mary Kay (since 1963), and …(you can fill in here), should be celebrated! They have proved themselves through the test of time, perseverance, strong business principles, yet balanced with a measure of flexibility to creatively design fresh marketing strategies and materials to appeal to the series of generations.  However, none could have expected the level of change that has come with the power and influence of the internet.  Another factor is the rise in the cost of publications and postage for these direct sales companies that have had physical catalogs serve as their form of showcasing their products along with their personal customer services, again physically delivered with the warmth of a smile and a personal connection face-to-face and by phone.  The question isn’t on the quality and value of their product, it’s how do they reach more prospective clients?

Similar to marketing tips we shared for Medical Professionals in a previous blog post (read more), there are many facets to the working marketing model, and may I add, not one fits all.  As a representative for one of these companies that were established pre-internet, you may have to make some creative adjustments on your own, respect the company rules while raising the probability of you making new connections and landing new clients.

Generally speaking, the social media link is the one missing in these “older” direct sales companies, and this is where the Santa Barbara Business Network and friends would like to help bridge that gap.

Learn from Statistics:

Social Selling Stats as noted by HUB SPOT

  • 65% of salespeople who use social selling fill their pipeline, compared to 47% of reps who do not.
  • Four in 10 reps have recently closed two to five deals directly thanks to social media.
  • Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising.
  • Using social selling tools can increase win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%, respectively.

Google found nearly half of all buyers are millennials.

Referral sales stats as noted by HUB SPOT

  • Eighty-four percent of buyers now kick off their buying process with a referral.
  • Nine in 10 buying decisions are made with peer recommendations.
  • Ninety-two percent of buyers trust referrals from people they know.
  • After a positive experience, 83% of customers would be happy to provide a referral. But salespeople aren’t asking — just 29% of customers end up giving a referral.
  • About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers.


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Blog Resources:

  1. Direct Selling Mobile article, entitled: “How Direct SellingCompanies Connect with Millennials” by Krato’s Team, September 1, 2017;
  3. Turbo Medical Marketing

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