Selling Gamification, Part 1: The Buyer’s View

The gamification of selling







This is the first of a two-part post that on the “gamification” of selling.  This post is from the prospect’s  viewpoint, the second part if from the seller’s viewpoint.

The 35th anniversary of the King’s death came and went quietly two weeks ago .  If you’re a fellow ‘Boomer, this reminder of mortality probably disturbs you.  If you’re a ‘Boomer, you may not know that Mario is bigger than Elvis ever was.  If you’re a GenXer or GenYer, this no doubt elicits a response of “so what, dude?” or “who dat guy with the funny hair?”    This isn’t a post about the good ol’ days, but rather a chance to give an insight int0 how much and how fast selling and business development and sales prospecting is changing.

People under 40 now make up the majority of purchases for big ticket items like homes, furniture, appliances, etc.  And people under 40 make up the majority of the rank and file of sales forces.  They grew up with the pc, a gameboy or XBox console, and more recently cell and smartphones.  This is the Distracted Generation, the generation that is easily bored, naturally skeptical, and very technology savvy.

Ask anyone under 40 what they did for entertainment as a teenager.  Listening to records or tapes and watching American Bandstand won’t make the list.  Businesses that want to be relevant with buyers born before 1970 need to make their brand and their sales pitch as entertaining and engaging as Super Mario and as addicting as crack.  Try taking away the cell phones before a meeting or a dinner and watch them twitch uncontrollably.  It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to engage people who buy things for their home (BtoC) or engage people who buy things for their company (BtoB), people under 40 are wired differently.  And they are gaining in influence and buying power even as they are gaining in distraction levels.

If your sales prospects are under age 40, you need to engage the Distracted Generation with gamification.  Average time per visitor on a webpage is a key measurement in search engine algorithms.  Putting a contest or a game, no matter so stupid, on a website or a landing page is an unbelievably great way to keep visitors on your site and off of your competitors’ site.  Give  them the opportunity to share their results via social media and you can have a very nice viral campaign that can bring in tons of new visitors and sales prospects.

BabyBoomers, here’s another wakeup call:  those tried and true lead generation and sales prospecting methods  that you’ve been using are fading faster than Elvis.  White Papers, print material and pdfs may have been great “bait”  in the past  to get prospects to subscribe to your company newsletter so they get to know, like and trust your company and eventually become prospects and buyers.  To the Distracted Generation, these tools just plain suck and show how out of touch you are.  White papers  are viewed as just plain stupid and boring, dude and are alsmost impossible to read on a smartphone or tablet.  Company newsletters are all about you and oh so dull.  Distracteds would rather watch a couple short videos on YouTube from their smartphone than read a newsletter or brochure.  And Distracteds don’t trust any business that doesn’t have lots of positive reviews from other Distracteds on Yelp or Google+.

In upper management and key decision maker ranks, the torch is being passed to the Distracted generation as us Boomers retire.  If your company’s prospecting process still relies on the “tried and true” methods of the past, and rely upon “relationship” or “referral” sales, then hopefully you’re close to retirement and have the money to do so.  As more buying decisions are made by Distracteds, your selling success is going to fade faster than Elvis.  And you can forget about sales referrals and introductions from younger clients if your ancient ways might embarass them with their peers.

If you want to really engage a Distracted Generation sales prospect with your company message, then really engage them.  Challenge them to a smack-down, entertain them, let them share their game conquests socially, make it fun or goofy or exciting, and give them a reason to stay focused on your ptich before they go on to the next distraction.  If you stay relevant, they just may come back.  All other things being equal, they’d rather buy from you if you’re cool than from some boring company that  looks and sounds like some guy named Elvis.

Gamification helps get your message through and keeps your prospects engaged longer.  If you feel like you need to up your company’s sales prospecting, selling and lead generation game, contact us today.


In Part Two, we’ll explore how sales prospecting gamification from the seller’s view and how your company can adapt the same gaming strategies to keep your sales force more engaged, productive and successful that have been successfuly used for  recruiting by the US Armed Forces.

By Michael Chapman,, 214-764-6315.

About Michael Chapman