Hispanic consumers want financial advice. Are you prepared to give it to them?

According to a new study by New York Life, the economic crisis has made Hispanics across the country more motivated to protect their finances and become better educated about financial planning. In fact, 77 percent of Hispanic adults surveyed agreed the recession increased their desire to provide a financial safety net for their families.

Unfortunately, despite their desire to be educated, many Hispanics have a hard time actually acquiring information. Almost half the respondents (47 percent) agreed that a lack of information about financial protection planning was an obstacle to providing financial protection to their families. The second most prevalent hurdle, according to 39 percent of respondents, was believing financial protection is unaffordable and that they didn’t have enough money – a common barrier in the average population as well. This is a misconception that insurance agents fight every day, and now, it seems, there’s a new battlefield to fight it on.

It’s clear, then, that there is both a lack of information available to multi-cultural clients and a strong demand for education. Which means that there is a huge opportunity available to those agents willing to put in the time to market to ethnic populations. (In fact, many major insurance companies, including Allstate, State Farm, and New York Life, are reaching out to Hispanic populations with targeted marketing campaigns.)

If you’re not sure how to get started in reaching out to this new group of untapped prospects, here are some tips that can help you through.

  • Partner with targeted nonprofits. If there is an event in your area that assists the population you want to reach, see how you can help out. Be genuine in donating your time and skills (in other words, don’t walk in trying to sell), and eventually it will come out that you’re an insurance agent. Let them ask you for advice, then see if you can schedule an appointment from there. The key is to build trust within the community.
  • Understand that the needs and priorities of one cultural group might be different from your own. Get to know the culture of the community you want to target. Learn what’s important to them, and create a portfolio of products that meets those needs.
  • The commitment to diversity is an ongoing effort. Keep it up, and you’ll see the rewards over time.

The diversity of our population is continuing to grow. Hispanics are making up a larger and larger percentage of the population – so if you don’t reach out to them, a competitor will.