Hello, can you come up for air, please?
Looking to do business with or invest in a new start-up? If you want to do business with the up-and-comers, you better be “on fleek,” or you’ll experience the JOMO.
Sorry not sorry…
Are you seriously phubbing right now? How to do business with the newest start-up generation (and keep your sanity).
Written by Shelly Alvarez
I’ve always considered myself a young professional- someone who is “hip” and knows how to handle everyone and their business, regardless of their age. That is, until I started doing business with the newest generation of start-ups, owned by these 20-year olds who probably won’t ever remember what I look like because getting them to raise their head away from their technological device to look you in the eye seems like a puzzle that even the most clever genius cannot solve.
Welcome to the future of America! If you want to get a piece of the start-up pie, you’ll have to do business with the Millennials, and understand the way they operate. I think I’ve figured it out, so here’s my two cents.
Millennials understand opportunity. Plain and simple. If something makes sense to them, is conveniently available to them on every iPhone/iPad/iWatch/iSandal/iBelt around, then you’ll have their initial attention. They don’t want to hear the complex, long-winded explanation of how you’ve been doing business for a zillion years with start-ups and have all the experience in the World (at which point their concern may be that you are going to either kick the bucket or retire). They want simple and black and white. No frills. Easy.
When I began selling insurance products to start-ups who just received a large venture capital investment, it was definitely a challenge. The baby business owners thought they could get a $10 million policy by just telling me they wanted one, and I’d call the insurance company and print them out a little certificate and everything was rosy. Wow, were they surprised when the process involved an exam, medical records, a change to their initial death benefit and a lower health grade. I still remember my very first case. When the policies were finally issued and I went to their office to deliver them, stepped over the company dog and a few guys in flip flops sitting on the floor in a circle for a company meeting, and made my way to the kitchen to drop off the policies and get a quick signature. No questions, nothing. They were even surprised that the process “took so long.” Gasp… It still blows my mind every day.
So if you think the approach is real formal, black suit/tie, with all the complex language, you might be in for a huge surprise. That works beautifully with most established businesses, or people who’ve been in the career world for a few years, but not with the newbies. They may nod their heads like they agree with you, but in the end simple, casual and to the point always wins.
I am sure this isn’t the case with every start-up, but it’s what I’ve experiences so far. So go ahead and make their day by trying something new, innovative, funny and totally off-the-wall. The results may just be your big payday.
For more information, feel free to contact us. Happy investing!