Working with millennials

As the oldest millennials reach their mid-30s, they’re turning their minds to big financial goals, like saving for retirement or their kids’ education. At the same time, slightly younger millennials are getting serious about their careers and saving for their first homes.

Whatever stage they’re at, millennials are a key demographic advisors should be striving to communicate more effectively with. Start with these tips:

Encourage research

Many millennials are choosing to manage their own investments rather than work with advisors. There may be many reasons for this, but one that comes up time and again is the idea that millennials are a highly skeptical generation.

They have more access to instant, high-quality information than any generation before them. They use multiple sources to research everything. As a result, they tend not to take advice – including financial advice – at face value.

On the one hand, it can be frustrating to have every recommendation and decision questioned by a client. On the other hand, shouldn’t all clients, regardless of age, be doing their own research and taking some responsibility for their financial education? Encouraging independent research is a great way to build trust with millennial investors.

Let them know that you support their efforts, and look for ways to balance their findings with the advice you provide.

Communicate online

The in-depth annual review is essential for tracking clients’ progress and keeping up to date on their financial goals, risk tolerance and life stage. For most, this review is best handled in person. When it comes to more frequent types of communication, though, advisors should keep in mind that millennials spend a lot of time online. They don’t want to meet in person or chat on the phone any more than necessary.

To stay in touch with millennials, be willing to communicate by email or connect with these clients on social media. If you’re not willing to do so, these investors are likely to find an advisor who is.

Make it personal

That said, millennials are bombarded with email, direct messages and social media notifications. This can be overwhelming.

Communicate with millennial clients when you have information you truly think they’ll want to see. Keep it personal, too. If you come across an article on housing prices in a certain city, and you know your client is looking for a house in that city, send that along. Follow up with ways they can finance a down payment.

Always use discretion

If your clients just had their first baby, don’t terrify them with an article about the skyrocketing cost of a university education.

Maybe start with an article on most common baby names and slowly work the conversation toward RESPs. Remember that every piece of information you send doesn’t have to be about finance, as long as you’re thoughtfully building a connection.

Think about a digital newsletter

Of course, this tailored communications approach is time consuming. If you only have time for a monthly newsletter, one that goes to all clients, make sure the content is relevant to multiple demographics.

Also think about adding a personalized opening line. Something along the lines of, “Hi Jack. I thought the article on career tips for millennial CEOs might be of particular interest to you.”

With these few simple actions, advisors can capture a larger share of this growing market.

Build a communications plan that will resonate with millennials. Contact Ext. Marketing Inc. today at 416.925.1700 or