In a perfect world, we would all understand each other, speak in a universal language or, at least, have a T.A.R.D.I.S. that gets into our brains and automatically translates all of the universe’s languages. (A T.A.R.D.I.S. stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space. It is a time machine and military vehicle shaped like a 1960s London police box from the Doctor Who TV series.)
However, we don’t live in that world and we have to work on being understanding and trying to relate to one another on a daily basis. We have many things in common and other things that differentiate us, that make us who we are.
So, why are millennials more often than not misunderstood or simply forgotten? Some might say it’s because of the generational gap. Others might just blame Justin Bieber or technology. But think back to when you were younger. Did your parents understand you? Did they understand why you loved Billie Holiday, Elvis Presley, why you treasured your Rolling Stones vinyls and why the Eagles somehow made it to your music collection?
I love writing about millennials because I am one. We come in different shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds, and we’re not going anywhere. We’re just getting started. But, there is a consensus that most of us “slacked” in our financial education or get very confused when trying to surf the insurance industry world. Sometimes, it feels like we’re trying to answer: what is dark matter?
So, let’s all go into my T.A.R.D.I.S. and try to understand each other, if only for a minute.
Below are some questions that I asked Mindy Lamont, founder and CEO of The Insurist, an online platform designed to target millennials with a need for term life insurance. Lamont is very social media savvy and has integrated her Pinterest account as part of her marketing efforts to reach millennials. Her website is also interesting: it looks more like a cool trendy online store than a traditional insurance site.
LHP: What appeals to millennials right now?
Lamont: “I recently worked with a millennial client who found us online. She loved our branding and the ease of use of our website. Pulling quotes herself and being able to request an application without talking to someone was what kept her there. While we still need to have phone calls and/or meetings to complete a transaction, millennials are a smart bunch who are very technically competent and want to be able to self-serve their needs.”
LHP: What would you say is the best way to sell life insurance to millennials?
Lamont: “STOP WITH THE CHEESY SALES TACTICS. Period. Treat them like the smart human beings they are and help them make smart decisions.”
LHP: Is there anything specific to social media and millennials that advisors should pay attention to?
Lamont: “I think we still have a ways to go as an industry before we’re using social media effectively with millennials (and anyone for that matter). Social media is about engagement. If you’re not facilitating engagement you’re wasting your time.”
LHP: Any other alternatives to social media and/or traditional media that will appeal to millennials that is rarely talked about?
Lamont: “Experiential marketing. Hold creative events that make your brand an experience.”
LHP: Is there anything else about selling to millennials that we should know?
Lamont: “STOP WITH THE CHEESY SALES TACTICS. Final answer ;).”
Lastly, we don’t all have TARDIS-es. That’s just a figment of the Doctor Who universe writers’ imaginations. So let’s leave the cheese where it belongs: on the pizza!
(Photo of a T.A.R.D.I.S. scale model. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)