By Frank Kaiser

Want a piece of the trillion-dollar senior market? Here’s how: Have a good product or service, treat us well and fair, and follow these Commandments. You will be successful. Contrary to everything you’ve heard, there are markets to be had and money to be made far to the right of 18 – 49.

1.      Thou shalt never think of the elderly market as “old.” We don’t consider ourselves old.

2.      Thou shalt never attempt to scare us into buying. Fright tactics turn us off. Do tell us about independence.

3.      Thou shalt always treat us as equals. You value connectedness, independence, personal growth and revitalization. So do we.

4.      Thou shalt not pander. Never talk down to us. We’re not dumb. In fact, we’re probably smarter — and richer — than you.

5.      Thou shalt not bamboozle. Know that we’re skeptical. All seniors are from Missouri. (But give us a few credible testimonials by folks like us, and we’re putty in your hands.)

6.      Thou shalt not broad stroke. Know that all seniors are not alike. Above age 50 are dozens of cohorts, hundreds of niche markets. KNOW WHOM YOU’RE TALKING TO OR YOU WILL BE SMITEN.

7.      Thou shalt guarantee. We fear being taken. A simple “no ifs, ands, or buts guarantee” pleases us immensely.

8.      Thou shalt not razzle-dazzle. Know that we’re conservative about consuming. Many of us grew up during the Great Depression. But never think that we have no sense of humor.

9.       Thou shalt not glitz. Know that ads should look like ads. And no fancy fonts. To us, they’re the floosies of print advertising. Set type at least 12 point, with lots of leading. Use reverses sparingly. Use color. Lots of it. Our eyes ain’t what they used to be; four-color defines your message while black and white often gets ignored.

10.   Thou shalt always treat us with respect.

Frank Kaiser, nationally syndicated author of the popular weekly column, Suddenly Senior, spent 40 years selling millions of dollars worth of soap, cereals, services and most everything else to consumers around the world. For more tips on successfully selling to the senior market, go to and Copyright ©2002 Frank Kaiser and Kaiser Communications Inc. All rights reserved