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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Your next prospect? The DIY consumer.

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For many new agents and even seasoned veterans, expanding your prospect list may be a top priority in 2016. What I hope you will be happy to hear is that there is a unique group of consumers that should move to the top of your prospect list: Do-It-Yourselfers.

Picture this: A Bob Villa fan goes to the local hardware megastore once a week with plans for a new kitchen in his pocket. Does he sound like a good prospect? He is. 

Do-it-yourselfers are problem-solvers who are looking for ways to improve their life, whether it’s a leaky faucet or their financial future. This makes them prime candidates for your prospecting efforts. The boom in DIY TV shows and the increase in subscribers to robo-advisor services speak to the growing American appetite to roll up your sleeves and get things done. As a financial professional, I think there is possibly no greater project to undertake than helping a family or business create a viable financial plan.

So, who are the DIYers? Nearly half of self-identified DIYers are women, and 76 percent make more than $100k per year. This group spans multiple generations, from millennials to boomers with varying interests, backgrounds, and goals. A majority of them are facing life-changing events such as buying a first home (51 percent), getting married (72 percent), having a child or retrofitting their home for retirement. They tend to be technologically savvy individuals who are just as at home watching a how-to video on YouTube or getting advice from a pro at their local hardware store. Walk through your local home improvement warehouse, and you’ll see. It’s not just suburban dads any more.

Here are three tactics for agents to engage DIY consumers: 

1. They drive, you steer.

Whether it’s changing the flooring, putting together a bookcase or doing a landscape project, for many DIYers their projects are not just about saving money. They are drawn to DIY projects because they believe that with some preparation and guidance they can handle the task. In fact, 47 percent of home improvement shoppers do DIY projects because they enjoy them, and many report that it is the experience that matters most. Financial professionals need to engage and inspire DIYers by providing them with educational resources, industry websites and online life insurance calculators so that they can assess their basic needs on their own. The bottom line is that educating and inspiring DIYers are some of the most important things that you can do to help position yourself in the buying process. 

2. They like things customized.

The DIY mindset is about doing something in a way that works best for what they need, rather than a one-size-fits all, off-the-shelf solution. As a financial professional, you can capitalize on this by showing how you can create a customized financial strategy that is unique to their circumstances. Consumers want to feel like they are getting something special, and with a personalized financial strategy, they are.

3. They read directions and seek advice. While you may think that DIYers want to do it all on their own, the truth is that many are aware of their own limitations and will pay for professional help when it’s called for. In fact, 56 percent of DIYers reported that they planned to hire a professional contractor in 2015. These consumers approach their financial decisions in the same way by researching financial information through robo-advisors and complimenting it with professionals. Great news for you. 

Are you already working with a number of handy clients?


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