Today, I was on the elliptical machine at my gym perusing More magazine- “A magazine that celebrates women over 40.” Yes, I admit that I’m 43. But, I hear that 43 is the new 33. I digress.
Anyway, I ran across an article called “How Not To Act Old” by Pamela Redmond Satran, which is an excerpt from her book called “How Not to Act Old: 185 Ways to Pass for Phat, Sick, Hot, Dope, Awesome, or at Least Not Totally Lame”.
The article caught my attention because her advice made a lot of sense, was very witty and had applications in selling and the workplace. Her advice is not about acting like we’re much younger but how to better connect with those who may be younger.
As salespeople we are not always working with decision makers or influencers that are the same age as us. And, as business leaders, we often have staff of all ages- and may even work for a boss who is many year our junior.
Here are a few tidbits from the article…
Don’t spout any history & Don’t be a human archive
- If it happened before 2001, who really cares? Satran believes that most 20 somethings don’t care about nostalgia, antique stores, national monuments and re-enactments of any kind. Avoid phrases like “back in the day”, “in a past life” and stories about the last CEO or the last sales leader. They want to talk about current events.. like who pulled a Kanye this week.
Don’t yell into your cell phone
- Satran is absolutely right.. when was the last time you saw an annoying teenager or 20 something talking loudly into their cell in a public place. You probably haven’t- as they have mastered the whispering or texting. But, why are the 40+ guys in suits, especially in airports, always yelling?
You’re not mom or dad, so leave the doughnuts, leftovers and birthday cards at home
Avoid direct confrontation. No shouting. No showdowns.
- Satran recommends raising issues with a less aggressive, electronic touch. Don’t return calls or emails. Unfriend someone on Facebook. Use questions instead of comments.
- I don’t personally like these recommendations, but I think she’s probably right. I have a younger brother from my Dad’s second marriage who is 20 years old. He is the least direct guy you could meet. He ignores the phone and voicemail and does everything via text.
A few additions from the Marci archives:
Don’t Ignore Twitter
- I have run into a number of 40 and 50 somethings recently that openly joke that although they’re on LinkedIn, they are scared of Twitter. To me, that ages them immediately. Understanding Twitter and (ideally) using Twitter shows that you are up on the latest technology. And there are so many business and selling applications. (Check out my recommendations for Sales Experts To Follow on Twitter)
Pearl Vision, Lenscrafters Here We Come
- I was recently chatting with a career coach who often works with older job seekers on their career strategy. She mentioned that outside of grey hair, one of the number one things that visually ages adults, is their eyeglass selection. If you have not updated your eyeglass frames in a few years, do so immediately.
I’ll wrap up today’s post with a fun, yet related quote.
“People do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” Author unknown
Please add your additional stay young, connect young, tips in the comment section.