Life insurance has been a big part of my lifetime business practice, and it has been a part of building portfolios and planning my client’s future.
I was trained in the Northwestern Mutual system, which bases its sales practices on a solid and thorough fact finder, helping prospects set and attain their goals and providing dedicated service.
However, one thing I always thought would happen in my practice is not happening: I always thought and planned that, as my clients aged out and no longer needed my services, their children would become my next group of prospects and clients.
That concept is taught and practiced throughout our industry. What better referral can you have than a parent introducing you to their adult children and suggesting that they look to me as their advisor? Powerful stuff.
In reality, I have found that typical millennials look at money differently.
There are, of course, many exceptions. But, on average, they are members of the Do-It-Yourself generation. They buy stocks and other securities directly from firms like Robin Hood and Wealthfront. They always ask what the fees and expenses are, and never agree to any relationship-driven costs.
I describe a millennial as value-motivated, status quo challenger in need of knowledge and information, open and adaptive, quality- and value-driven, receptive to feedback, free-thinking and creative. Also, millennials like fun and a relaxed workplace, adopting it as a social atmosphere.
Their lives are their cell phones and they insist on quick, fast and dependable answers to any inquiry. They rely on Yelp for ratings before considering a restaurant or another service. Google has become this generation’s approach and solution to everything.
Now you add companies who welcome them by offering apps on virtually any topic, life insurance included. For millennials, selecting a supplier is not about relationships; it’s about full disclosure and about how much I can save if I use Amazon instead of Macy’s. Loyalty is fading, and with it goes a part of our future as an advisor.
How do we join in? The best direction is to offer these services and information on Do-It-Yourself approaches and rely on deeper dives for those who have accomplished accumulation and need solid advice. We will never be able to compete with millennials’ attitude; they already know it all. Just ask them about a restaurant.
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