3 strategies for working with millennials

The “me” generation, self-absorbed, high-maintenance. These stereotypes are often used to describe millennials, said Aaron L. Hammer, LUTCF, in his presentation at the 2017 Annual Meeting. But there are also other words that apply to them: independent, positive, multi-taskers, tech-savvy, hungry for information, optimistic.

The millennial generation will not only dominate the workforce in the next 10 to 20 years, they also stand to inherit billions of dollars from their parents, Hammer, a 17-year MDRT member from St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA, said. So advisors need to work with this growing population, but their overwhelming student debt and their different ways of communicating can present challenges.

Hammer had several suggestions:

  1. Communicate how they want. Most millennials won’t answer calls, but they’ll answer texts, Hammer said. They also use social media to communicate, and research online and through friends and parents. “You have to have an interactive website with blogs, videos and two-way communication,” Hammer said. “They research everything online and if they’re searching and you don’t come up as a thought leader, they won’t find you.”
  2. Start with the basics. This generation is hungry for information, but they’re often getting it online, which isn’t always the best source. Start by teaching them how to develop a budget and show how setting aside a small amount each month can help them meet their goals, whether it be retirement, home purchase or anything else. Teach them about compound interest, cash flow, and strategies to pay off student loan and credit card debt. “Help them immediately, with where they are right now,” Hammer said. They may not have a lot of assets now, but they’ll be committed to you as their cash flow grows.
  3. Use your current clients to reach out to new millennial prospects. If you have millennial clients, hold a small gathering for them and their millennial friends. Use this opportunity to teach them some of the basics. Also, reach out to clients with millennial children and ask to get connected. “Create a relationship before they inherit the money and blow it,” Hammer said.

 

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