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When Your Prospect Is Older Than You

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What You Need to Know

  • Don't be envious.
  • Don't pretend to be rich.
  • Do dress and act like a professional.

Many agents are younger than their prospects and clients. These same people are often wealthier than the agent, living in big houses and driving expensive cars. This can be intimidating for agents. What should you do?

The Major Advantage in the Agent’s Favor

You might think the solution is to find younger, less wealthy prospects. Unfortunately, many in that category don’t see any reason to work with an insurance agent. They are young and invulnerable. If they needed insurance, they could buy it online, bypassing the agent.

Lets go back to the wealthier, older prospect. Here’s a great expression. “More money, more problems. Those wealthier prospects need you.

You have two major advantages:

They wish their own children worked as hard as you do. These wealthy parents gave their children every advantage in life. Tuition might cost $ 30,000 a year, yet they are barely passing. They have no motivation. The prospects think of you, “You are working hard to build your career.”

You remind them of themselves at an earlier age. They are successful. They started their own business. They feel it was all due to hard work. They worked long hours They knocked on doors to get clients. You are doing what they remember doing.

Traits to Show to Win Them Over

Here are ten ways to send the right signals and earn their respect.

1. Professionalism

Their children might clown around or not take life seriously. Maybe they make up excuses to avoid responsibility.

The agent: You are all business. You show up on time. You get to the point. You are prepared for meetings.

The prospect: “Your parents raised you well.”

2. Attire

Their children extended “Casual Fridays” into the other six weekdays. It appears their clothing has never been to the dry cleaner. Your prospect thinks they are sloppy.

The agent: You are dressed for business. Always err on the side on conservative dress. Your clothing fits. It isn’t revealing.

The prospect: “You dress like I wish my children would dress.”

3. Certifications

Most people buy into the logic education is your ladder to a better job and career. Their children aren’t sure what they want to do when they graduate. Since they are in their junior year of college, that’s a concern.

The agent: Your business card includes your professional certifications and designations. They “get it.” In their profession they might have needed licensing and continuing ed.

The prospect: “You must have studied a lot to get all those letters after your name.”

4. Latest Knowledge

People might joke about their doctors being younger than their kids. They often would prefer someone who has learned the latest in medical techniques and technology vs. someone close to retirement age.

The agent: You talk about new products brought to market to meet demand.

The prospect: “Annuities have changed a lot in the past 30 years.”

5. Call Early, Call Late

They think the work ethic has deteriorated. They secretly wonder how much work gets done when people “work from home.”

The agent: Without being ridiculous, you call with news while they are having their morning coffee. You call at 6 p.m. on a Friday.

The prospect: “I can’t believe you are still in your office.”

6. Pride in Your Firm

We’ve all heard how the younger generations are suspicious of “Big Business.” Your older, wealthy prospect thinks, “It’s my job at that big company that paid for your college education!”

The agent: Knows the background of their firm. When it was started. Historical events that made the firm what it is today. Its financial stability.

The prospect: “I remember hearing about your firm when I was growing up. That’s where my parents bought their insurance!”

7. Confidence

They watch their children get focused on social media. The children don’t call or meet up with friends. They just…text! The prospects wonder if the current generation even knows how to start a conversation face to face.

The agent: Confidence is something you exude. You look prospects in the eyes. You can make small talk.

The prospect: “You are a people person. I like that.”

8. Respect

Your prospect was taught to be polite and respect their elders. They respected people in positions of authority. When stopped for speeding, they have their license and registration out before the police officer taps on their window.

The agent: You are respectful in conversation. You ask permission before using their first name. You let them talk. You don’t interrupt.

The prospect: “You have great manners.”

What Not to Do

Here are a few “don’ts” to wrap things up:

1. Don’t pretend you are rich. It can come across as deceptive. Prospects will think your fees may be too high.

2. Don’t be envious. If you say, “I bet you don’t clean your own house or mow your own lawn,” it can sound as if you resent your prospects’ wealth. They feel they worked hard for it and can spend it however they choose.

3. Don’t feel inadequate. You have something all their money cannot buy: Youth. You have your whole life in front of you. That’s priceless.

4. Don’t lie. If you don’t know something, admit it. You will get the answer. Older prospects’ life experience has taught them how to spot a lie.

Younger agents and advisors can get on quite well with older, established high-net-worth individuals. Let your best qualities shine through.


Bryce SandersBryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.

 

 (Photo: Shutterstock)