Marketing Financial Advisor Services to Millennials

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Marketing Financial Advisor Services to Millennials

Marketing financial advisor services to midcareer executives is simple. Midcareer executives have significant assets and expenses to manage, and defined objectives. The complexity of their financial portfolios means they are likely open to financial advising services, the amount and variety of assets they hold affords the financial advisor many ways of servicing their client, and their defined objectives whittle the options to a concise strategy. Millennials, by contrast, are just starting out. They don’t have the assets or expenses of midcareer executives, their investing options are limited, their financial goals are less defined, and they likely have a limited understanding of what financial advisors do. Having grown up in the Great Recession and the dot-com bubble before that, many are also skeptical of Wall Street, investing, and the financial services industry. Further, you can’t afford to ignore them- millennials are projected to surpass baby boomers as the largest generation in the United States. They may not be wealthy now, but their wealth will grow as baby boomers leave the workforce. They are your firm’s future, so how does the enterprising financial advisor convince young potential clients to utilize their services, and how can that financial advisor tailor their services to their millennial clients?

Explain Your Fee Structure

A Deloitte study found that many millennials perceive financial advisors negatively. The same study found that transparency in pricing goes a long way to overcome this negative perception. This is the generation that is putting an end to automobile price haggling. They will do their research before choosing an advisor. If your fee structure is convoluted, confusing, or otherwise non-transparent, they won’t trust you, and if they don’t trust you, they will not engage in your services. Many financial advisors with younger clients straightforwardly explain their fees on their firm’s website. They are also prepared to answer questions like, “How are you paid?” and “What’s the cost of this fund?”

Millennials want to know that you are working for them and that you care about them. In addition to investment guidance, they want counseling on debt, budgeting, and their careers. If you don’t provide every service, maintain a list of trusted professionals for referrals. Valuable referrals and connections can provide as much value to an aspiring young professional as your financial advice. Let them know you value their business. They may not be wealthy now, but the ones seeking financial advising services are likely future high-income earners. Treat them with the same respect and provide the same attention you would a midcareer executive.

Define Your Role

Millennials don’t want a salesperson pitching them products, especially if they don’t know your incentive for pitching the products. We all live in an information-overload world, and many millennials have read about advisors pushing products in the advisor’s best interests, but not theirs. They are wary of hidden commissions, sales incentives, and other shady motivators, and they want assurance that you’re acting in their best interests. Define your role as their fiduciary, explain that role, and address concerns about hidden fees and commissions.

Be Flexible

Young adults have varied financial needs and seek flexibility in their financial advisors, in both services and pricing. Flexible pricing can permit you to attract more young clients. Millennials are used to monthly fee structures, so simply varying the monthly fee based on services provided is an easy way to make your pricing structure more flexible. Any mutually acceptable flexible pricing method can work. The goal should be to provide flexible pricing options while maintaining transparency.

Millennials have different financial portfolios than previous generations. Many are saddled with high student loan debt. Additionally, most costs of living have increased, while young workers’ average wages have remained flat or even decreased. They have different obligations and less money available for investment than previous generations. They still have financial planning needs, however, that can be met by a financial advisor flexible enough to meet those needs. Further, young adults of any generation are more socially conscious than their midlife counterparts. Many millennials want to invest ethically rather than in a profit-first corporation. Before pitching millennials, do your research to present them with ethical options regarding environmental sustainability, tolerance and diversity, social justice, fair wages and labor practices, and any other ethical considerations you think will be relevant. Socially responsible funds exist for gender diversity, environmental sustainability, pacifism, anti-tobacco, anti-gun, and general ethics, among others.

Many young millennials also have busy and chaotic lifestyles. They are consumed by the 24-hour workday, side-hustles, and freelance gigs in addition to hobbies, friends and family, and many other life obligations. Work with their busy and chaotic lives, streamline communication so it is fast and simple, and make yourself available during non-traditional times.

Technology

Millennials expect the convenience of technology, so you should embrace it as well. They’ve matured in a world where one device in their pocket performs thousands of tasks for them, and they have no reason to expect their financial advising needs won’t be met the same way. Financial account aggregation tools, smartphone applications, easy-to-use websites, and the ability to rapidly convey information are all essential for millennial clientele. Account aggregation is essential. Account aggregation simplifies and streamlines your clients’ financial data, so you can efficiently provide the best advice based on all information available, and effectively communicate to your clients, saving everyone time and money- something very important to millennial clients.

Millennials provide a huge growth opportunity for your financial advising practice, and failing to bring millennials into your practice will damage its future. Attract millennials the same way you would attract other clients: tailor your services to their financial planning needs, offer attractive pricing, communicate effectively, embrace the technology they are using, and provide the best advising services to them as individuals. Investing in millennials now will pay dividends in the future.

John LucianoComment