Younger generations are becoming a larger force in the market’s buying power. Millennials are 50% of the labor force, a number that is growing by the day. As a distributor of life, annuities and wealth management products, Millennials and Gen Z are already your target clients—or soon will be.
Many advisors and distribution firms have been slow to adapt to the digital-first expectations of younger generations. But, there are some distributors that have completely abandoned in-person touchpoints and relationship-building strategies.
In reality, Millennials and Gen Z have diverse preferences. While they indeed expect a modern digital experience, many also distrust algorithms and want advisor input.
To be successful with these clients, you must be ready with digital, mobile and in-person sales channels.
The Future is Near
It will not be long before the digital-fluent younger generations are the controlling force in the marketplace. By 2030, Millennials and Gen Z will make up 75% of the labor force.
Millennials may have less in investible assets than older generations today. But, that will not last long. They stand to inherit the largest transfer of wealth in human history. Upwards of $68 trillion by 2030.
The modern consumer is—there is not a better word for it—spoiled. They expect streamlined digital experiences. The generations who grew up with these conveniences will expect even more.
Take a sample from any part of modern life. Free two-day shipping. Automobile vending machines. Pizza deliveries tracked to your doorstep.
Consumers do not just hope for this type of experience. They demand it. Sixty-five percent of wealth management advisors say they have lost clients or prospects because their technology did not meet client expectations.
The majority of advisors recognize they need a different sales strategy for younger generations. Seventy-three percent of wealth management advisors say Millennials and Gen Z should receive a different type of engagement than older generations.
Most Millennials say they prefer to receive advice digitally. In fact, 73% of Millennials and Gen Z communicate digitally with others more than they do in person.
How can distributors meet these expectations? Provide a streamlined and unbroken digital experience from start to finish.
The best insurance sales platforms are designed around this belief in a digital process. All sales activities flow through the same platform without interruption or logging into another system. Needs analysis. Quoting. Illustration. E-application. E-delivery. Even post-issue services. The entire process flows seamlessly from end to end.
It’s even better for advisors when the platforms are multi-carrier and manage multiple lines of business. It ensures your clients get the best product for their needs and a streamlined digital process.
The World is Mobile
The modern buyer is used to doing business on the go. Most Americans (85%) own a smartphone. And most dollars spent online (73%) are from mobile purchases.
As consumer preferences change, so does the sales landscape. Your office is just one place among many where business is done. Other locations? Your commute. The golf course. At a dinner party. In an Uber.
Wherever your clients are is where sales need to happen.
Some of today’s top insurance mobile apps provide the means to make this a reality. These apps make critical sales activities possible on the go. You can manage everything from needs analysis and quoting to e-ticket submission. All from your mobile device.
These modern app solutions make that streamlined, digital-first sales process available away from the office. You can take advantage of every opportunity. And you can offer a digital experience to clients who are not excited about in-office meetings.
It is true that younger generations prefer streamlined digital sales experiences. It is also true that they are used to doing business pretty much anywhere.
But, Millennials and Gen Z have some characteristics you might find surprising. You might want to keep those face-to-face sales strategies in your back pocket.
For starters, Millennials are looking for guidance with their finances. They are more likely to have a financial advisor than Baby Boomers and Generation X. In fact, 47% of Millennials say they consider in-person meetings one of the top interaction types they look for from sales teams at solution providers.
Gen Z likewise subverts expectations with their buying preferences. In general, they prefer to buy things in-store even if the product is available online.
Self-guided online shopping experiences work in some industries. But in life insurance, annuities and wealth management, the advisor relationship is still critical. The sales process still requires a human touch.
Keep a Full Toolbox
Millennials and Gen Z have diverse needs. They expect a fully digital sales process. They do business on their terms, when and where they are most comfortable. But they still want an advisor involved to provide guidance. And some may even prefer at least some degree of face-to-face interaction as part of their sales experience.
You need to be ready for however your clients want to do business. Yes, younger generations have high expectations. But if you maintain a diverse toolkit, you can be ready with the sales channel that will make the difference for each individual client.