Financial professionals who want to establish an emotional connection with clients had better learn to think about the generations coming after the baby boomers, Cam Marston said here at the Million Dollar Round Table annual meeting.
Marston, an author, was one of the experts who spoke Tuesday during the main platform session at the meeting.
MDRT, Park Ridge, Ill., says the meeting has attracted about 6,000 attendees.
Individuals vary, but, in general, the boomer generation tends be more group-oriented, more competitive and more work-focused than younger generations, Marston said.
To connect with boomer prospects, advisors should look for ways to save them time, Marston said.
Members of “Generation X” – consumers born from 1965 to 1976 — are more likely than boomers to question authority figures and be skeptical of vendor claims, but prospecting to them is usually worth the effort because they’re the most loyal of the three generations, Marston said.
To win Xer business, advisors should describe their services and product biases in detail, then get the prospect’s views on recommendations, Marston said.
“Give them the decision-making ability,” Marston said. “Also, emphasize short-term solutions and near-term goals. That will help you to build trust and credibility.”
Because Xers tend to trust their peers more than others, referrals and testimonial from other Xers may be helpful in winning their business, Marston said.
Facebook and other social media networks could be one way to get and communicate Xer testimonials, Marston said.
The youngest Xers are already 34, and the oldest Millennials are entering their prime financial services buying years.
As a group, the Millennials are optimists, in part because their parents have cared for them so well, Marston said.
Millennials tend to seek instant gratification and travel in “herds and packs,” and they are reacting to stress by entering a state of “adultolescence” between adolescence and adulthood, Marston said.
To help build rapport with Millennials, he said, producers should recognize their individuality and propose short-term solutions that can have an immediate impact. Advisors should also teach them about how to make smart purchases.