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Category: Sales · 5 min read

Understanding the Expectations of Millennials

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on September 5, 2019

author profile photo

on September 5, 2019

Female professional in a meeting room

Are you meeting with millennials? They may be wanting to meet with you. 

According to Guardian Life Insurance Company, one in three millennials are looking to meet with a financial professional within the next year.1  

But meeting with millennials isn’t the same as meeting with someone that’s closing in on their retirement years. Millennials still have a lot of working years left, but they’re already thinking about their futures. Whenever you meet with a new prospect, regardless of age, there are always expectations about what’s going to happen or what they want out of the appointment, and meeting those expectations can help you make a sale and gain a new client.  

So, to help your meetings go smoothly, here’s some insight into key expectations millennials may have about you and your business.  

 

1. More Choices 

Millennials want options. Think about it: they’re used to having a lot of choices when it comes to different products and services. Every year, Apple releases several new versions of their iPhones. We live in a consumer-focused world where there are an overwhelming amount of options to choose from.

And that translates to millennials’ view on financial services, too. 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.1 

 

2. Great, Personalized Service 

Believe it or not, millennials prefer a personal touch. While the stereotype may be that they would rather text or email, 45% of millennials prefer face-to-face meetings with financial professionals.1 In other words, millennials want personalized service. They want to feel valued, and they want to be treated well when they meet with you. If you provide them with exceptional customer service, you can increase the likelihood that they’ll do business with you.

This can be easier to pull off than you think. It may be as simple as addressing them by name, being adequately prepared for the meeting, and letting them know when to expect a follow-up from you. Millennials interact with brands on a daily basis, so make your brand experience rises above the rest.    

While the stereotype may be that they would rather text or email, 45% of millennials prefer face-to-face meetings with financial professionals.

3. Emails and Texts 

This personal touch also applies to your emails and texts. Even though research shows that millennials prefer to meet face-to-face, they mainly communicate through emails and texts, not phone calls. So, meet them where they are. Swap phone calls for text messages instead.

As you communicate and follow-up with them, keep it personal by including their name and specifics from your meeting. Millennials can sense when you send them a client-wide email, so customize it to their unique situation. Show that you appreciate their time, and they’ll be more likely to respond to you positively.  

 

4. Social Media Presence 

How you handle social media also matters to millennials. Today, there are 3.48 billion social media users worldwide, and a lot of them are millennials.2 And new data from Hootsuite found that Americans, on average, spend two hours and four minutes on social media every day.3  

So, millennials are online. But I’ll give you another reason to be on social media: A survey by Putnam Investments found that 92% of financial professionals that use social media said that social networking helped them gain new clients.4 

It can actually pay to have a social media presence for your business. Millennials expect you to have social media profiles, and will look you up before they meet with you. Having a social media presence means actively posting content on the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  

Finding content to post doesn’t have to be hard. There are three main ways you can generate content:   

  • You can post things YOU create (also called “original content”): Presentations, videos, white papers, and pictures.  
  • You can SHARE things from out in the world: News articles, reports, videos, that kind of thing, by copying and pasting a link to it and adding a comment about it. 
  • You can RETWEET or RESHARE interesting content others have posted on social sites or news sites by hitting the share button. 

Also, the quality of your social media posts is more important than how often you post. It doesn’t have to be every day or every other day. What matters more is having something valuable to say. Instead of content quantity, focus on generating quality content. If you do this, it can show millennials that you know what you’re talking about, and you’re up on the latest social media methods.

One more thing: Before you post, make sure you’re following all advertising regulations. Social media isn’t exempt, and it follows the same regulations as other printed mediums. So, watch your wording and make sure your posts are compliant before you publish them.  

 

5. A Strong Brand 

On top of a strong social media presence, it also can help to have a strong brand. As I mentioned before, millennials know good brands when they see them. They can interact with Wendy’s on Twitter, or talk to Netflix on Instagram. They expect you to have a brand that’s engaging, relevant, and put together.  

But what is a brand, and what makes a strong brand? Most of the time, when we think about a brand, we think of a logo. But a brand is so much more than that. It’s how you communicate with prospects and customers. It’s your company’s identity. It’s your messaging, your value proposition, your marketing. It’s your reputation. It’s a gut-feeling that someone has about your business. To create your brand, follow these steps.     

This statistic sums it up: A consistent brand message across all channels can increase revenue by up to 23 percent.5 Market to millennials with a consistent message through your social media, emails, and face-to-face conversations, and they could be more likely to view you as the credible and truthful resource you are.

 

6. Community-Focused 

Millennials also place a high value on a financial professional that’s involved in his or her community.1 They want to know that you’re helping make their city a better place, and that you care about the community you live in so much that you want to make it even greater.  

What community-centered activities or programs are you involved in? Where do you volunteer your time or resources? If you aren’t, it might be time to start.  

Market to millennials with a consistent message through your social media, emails, and face-to-face conversations, and they could be more likely to view you as the credible and truthful resource you are.

Overall, millennials are looking for a financial professional that is digitally-focused and human-centered. They want a personal touch with a digital feel. If you can follow through on that, you can effectively meet the millennial generation’s expectations. 

 

Sources: 

1. 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 

2. Newberry, Christina. “130+ Social Media Statistics that Matter to Marketers in 2019.” Hootsuite. Mar. 5, 2019. https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/#general 

3. Hootsuite. “The Global State of Digital in 2019 Report—USA Report.” Page 32. 2019. https://hootsuite.com/pages/digital-in-2019  

4. Putnam Investments. “Putnam Social Advisor Survey.” 2018. https://www.putnam.com/advisor/business-building/social-media/ 

5. Shaoolian, Gabriel. “10 Marketing, Web Design & Branding Statistics To Help You Prioritize Business Growth Initiatives.” Aug. 10, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/gabrielshaoolian/2018/08/10/10-marketing-web-design-branding-statistics-to-help-you-prioritize-business-growth-initiatives/#27ca4449d708  

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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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