How to hook millennial clients

Advisors who neglect these four approaches may be missing out on getting a more youthful client segment

How to hook millennial clients

There are different reasons for advisors to take on millennial clients. Professionals looking for a cause may consider the student debt, relatively low income, and other financial challenges they are facing. Others may prefer to look at their potential as future high-earners or beneficiaries of a massive inter-generational wealth transfer.

There’s no question about it: there are plenty of reasons why one would want to work with Generation Y. The problem for a lot of advisors is how to get their business, and in a recent piece published by Barron’s, a representative from Broadridge Financial Solutions weighed in with some suggestions.

“Millennials are far more information-hungry than GenX and Baby Boomers,” noted Donna Bristow, the firm’s managing director for North American Wealth. Citing a Broadridge study in the US, she said nearly 70% of millennials believe a combination of texts, emails, and social media updates contribute to greater trust with an advisor, and over 40% would like daily to bi-weekly updates from an advisor.

Bristow suggested that advisors use LinkedIn to post updates on the markets, labor reports, economic indicators, and legislative news. They may also start a blog and share compliance-friendly content across multiple social-media platforms; Skype and Google Hangouts would be useful to grow closer to clients.

Relationships with millennial clients may also be strengthened with bespoke experiences like financial education dinners and webcasts focused on their needs around life changes. Planning for starting a family, paying off student loans, taking out one’s first mortgage, and caring for ailing parents are some possible topics.

A third avenue, Bristow said, is to meet existing clients’ children. “More than 20% of millennials said they would consider using their parents’ advisor but have never met them,” she said. Advisors could ask existing clients to introduce their children — many of whom are already building their nest eggs, but have no clear plans in place.

Finally, advisors who want millennial clients must make more of an effort to understand their goals and aspirations deeply. Bristow pointed to shifting consumption trends as millennials prioritize experiences that rely less on capital resources and more on personal resources like time, energy, health, and education.

“Advisors can work with clients to personally plan for long-term goals or experiences in an open- minded way,” she said. Explaining how to balance personal and professional goals, while still saving for the future, will be a key skill for advisors to attract Gen-Y clients and keep them for the long term.


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