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Category: Sales · 5 min read

The 5 Generations You Might Meet With

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on September 26, 2019

author profile photo

on September 26, 2019

Family with three different generations all together

Every month, you meet with a wide range of people. No two prospects or clients are the same. But they all fall under one of these five generations: baby boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, millennial, or Gen Z. And, chances are, you’ve probably met with someone from each generation.  

Understanding who the generations are, how they differ, and how they act can help you more effectively connect with them and meet their financial goals.  

 

Baby Boomers 

Baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are in their retirement years, or are going to be soon. They might be the easiest generation to meet with, as they’re ready to make decisions about their retirement life and finances. Most baby boomers are more inclined to make a decision when you limit their choices.1 So, do the prep work before you meet with them, and have a couple of options ready to go to help make their decision easier.  

Keep in mind some of the baby boomer history here. This is a generation of bucking the status quo and striving for a better world. Baby boomer women changed the perception of the role women have in the world. They brought about social change and civil rights change, thanks partly to Martin Luther King, Jr. Overall, they may not make the most traditional choices or take the usual route, so consider thinking outside the box as you help them plan their retirement.  

Most baby boomers are more inclined to make a decision when you limit their choices.

Gen X 

Gen Xers, also referred to sometimes as the forgotten middle child, are people born between 1965 and 1980. They’re in their peak income years right now, which means it’s a good time to check on their retirement savings. Are they saving enough? How could they optimize their income and structure their retirement strategy today to improve their future life in retirement?  

The other thing to know about Gen Xers is that many of them are skeptical. They don’t trust easily.1 Things seem too good to be true, and they want to read the fine print to find the catch. This means you need to be transparent with them. Explain everything, the good and the bad. Don’t leave anything out. Let them read the fine print. If you do that, they’ll respect you.  

The other thing to know about Gen Xers is that many of them are skeptical. They don’t trust easily.

Older Millennials 

These are the ‘80s kids. They’re still technically considered millennials, but they’re different from those born in the ’90s. They remember life before the internet. They may feel misunderstood or miscategorized, as they don’t fit in with younger millennials, but also aren’t Gen Xers, either. Sometimes, they’re labeled “Xennials,” because even though they grew up in a pre-digital era, they’ve adapted to today’s technology much better than Gen X.  

Right now, 25% of millennials who expect to retire between ages 66 and 75 have no retirement savings account.2 Many millennials are overwhelmed with debt that their predecessors didn’t have, and they lack a clear understanding of how to dig themselves out. They want to save for a healthy financial future, but they either can’t or aren’t yet putting aside funds. But the good news is they still have time to catch up.  

Older millennials remember the 2008 recession, so they have some of that Gen X skepticism. This is where you can flex those relationship-building skills. Make them feel appreciated, welcomed, and valued.  

 

Young Millennials 

The younger millennials are the ‘90s babies. They may not be close to retirement age yet, but they are already thinking about their future and their finances.

The two main things to know here are that they want lots of choices, and they want great service. They want variety and more choices when it comes to how they manage their finances. Guardian found that 35% of millennials use only online financial tools, 9% only use a paid financial professional, and 29% use both.3 While the stereotype may be that they would rather text or email, 45% of millennials prefer face-to-face meetings with financial professionals.3 In other words, millennials want personalized service. If you provide them with exceptional customer service, you can increase the likelihood that they’ll do business with you. 

 

Gen Z 

Meet the youngest generation. Gen Z includes everyone born from 1998 to 2012. Often times, they’re mistaken for millennials, but they differ in many ways. For instance, they haven’t experienced a world without the internet. They’re extremely tech-savvy. And, because of that, they expect you to be digital, too. If you don’t have a digital way to do something, they’ll wonder why. So, consider digitalizing your processes, procedures, and forms to cater to the young ones.

Each generation is different, just like every prospect and client you meet with is different. But, if you know what to expect, you can guide the meeting in the right direction and customize your selling process to help you close more business.  

 

Sources: 

1. InsuranceNewsNet Magazine. “How to Market to Every Generation.” Sep. 2019. Page 18. https://issuu.com/innm/docs/innm_0919/16

2. Loudenback, Tanza. “Millennials are delusional about the future, but they aren’t the only ones.” Business Insider. Apr. 9, 2019. https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-gen-x-delusional-homeownership-retirement-2019-4

3. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. “Millennials and Money: Understanding What Drives Financial Confidence.” 2018. https://www.guardianlife.com/s3fs-public/Guardian_Millennials_and_Money_Research_White_Paper.pdf?Lv6zm.i197WQb6citnKVBMlNRzzwENUI  

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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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