According to survey results shared on Forbes.com recently, a mere five percent of affluent millennials said they would prefer to mostly or only consult with an advisor about making financial decisions.
Following are eight strategies to connect with millennials and position yourself to become their trusted advisor.
Watch and talk with millennials. I’ve observed my millennial kids with their friends. They witnessed the recession in 2008 and some watched their parents or buddies’ parents struggle with it, and I think they are therefore conscious of the need not to spend foolishly or incur massive credit card debt, and have an interest – at a younger age than their parents – in retirement and saving money. You may be in a better position than you think to engage with millennials, so get started.
Adapt your communication style. Be concise and be yourself. Flex to the millennial style; don’t mimic it. Recognize that they have distinct communication preferences. Just as boomers may not welcome a text or an email, the millennials I know would not sit down for a 90-minute meeting unless they thought it was not a meeting and that instead, they were going to be helped somehow.
Understand the herd mentality. I’ve noticed that Gen Yers like to go places together. In my day, when you went to the movies, you went with your date; now, 20 millennials may go together. Some may be dates and some may just be friends, but they roll as a group. Perhaps they’re most comfortable in a group environment. Regardless, I believe they still want to be respected as individuals.
Take an educational approach. From what I’ve seen, millennials don’t like sales pressure. If I were targeting millennials, I might say, “Hey, how about letting me buy lunch for you and some of your friends; I would just like to share some education with you – no pressure, no expectations, only a quick tutorial aimed at helping you be a smarter consumer.” I think that’s a more appropriate approach than, “Let me show you the internal rate of return you may get or how much cash you may accumulate.”