Ah, those millennials!
Most of us agree that it is wrong and even dangerous to stereotype others. In a country that gives lip-service to acceptance and diversity, the huge demographic of those born between about 1980 and 1995 are often the object of shallow analysis, sometimes leading to scorn and ridicule.
So, we hear things like “millennials aren’t interested in their future” or “millennials aren’t buying anything.” Thus, many advisors avoid the younger market to their detriment.
I recall an old illustration of the two shoe salesmen going into a third-world country some decades ago. The story goes that the first shoe salesman wired back pessimistically to his company: “No market here, the citizens don’t wear shoes.” The second wired back brimming with optimism: “Great market potential! The citizens don’t wear shoes — yet!” Like that second salesmen, I don’t look at the negatives — I see huge potential in working within the vast millennial market.
Just out of school with a degree in economics, I was drawn to the financial services industry as a way to combine my analytical skills and the ability to communicate and connect with people. As I approached graduation and took a closer look at the industry, I was both surprised and excited by the opportunity for advisors to begin at a young age. I knew I would have a large impact on clients throughout their working lives. I did not find many careers that offered such impact, growth, ownership, and financial opportunity.
As Yogi Berra (reportedly) said, “It is amazing what you can observe by looking around.” As I examined the millennial demographic, I found that there are many young professionals with great jobs, large incomes, growth potential and serious financial planning needs.
As with any good marketing plan, I had to develop my target market, define my services, and brand my image to prospects and clients. Millennials, like any other group, simply want their needs and lifestyles understood.
I look at every client as a puzzle with a tangible solution. I am constantly challenged to provide both quality solutions and to learn how to communicate to people in the specific way that they need. Some millennials will need a “nudge,” others need a “pull,” and – still – others simply need direction.
People face different goals, challenges, and experiences and I enjoy bringing solutions to them in a way that best suits their specific needs.