New GeNeratioN BY
How to Wow Gen Y Clients
Younger consumers have high standards and a different way of doing business.
Respect the value they bring — and try some of their ideas.
Iam a Gen Y planner. But I’m also a Gen Y consumer. My crowd is tough to satisfy, but Gen Y will become the clients who will sustain your company. My generation understands (and emands) great service; our loyalty is quickly earned, should
an experience exceed expectations. The service you offer even
before prospects have become paying clients will set the tone for
any future relationship.
I can almost hear some advisors grumbling that they don’t want
Gen Y clients — for a variety of reasons. But here’s some food for
thought: Gen Y has more invested in the stock market through
retirement savings plans than any prior generation did at the same
age, Vanguard Investment Counseling & Research Group chief John
Ameriks told a Bogleheads investing
conference in October, citing the
company’s own data.
Maybe this generation shouldn’t
be overlooked just yet?
That said, you may need to adjust
your approach if you want to work
with this group. As you connect
with prospective clients, you need
to help them understand the people
they will be working with, the technology powering their plans and a
sense of how they will be served in
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of ways to welcome younger
prospects to your office.
or uninterested receptionist. Once my call is
tranferred, I mention my experience. Shockingly, some people say they are well aware of
the problem but have done little to change it.
To upgrade your performance, take part in
role-playing a prospect call — and record the
results. Show your receptionist exactly what
you are looking for when he or she answers
the phone; play back the call, then work on
tonality and inflection.
INITIAL MEE TING
Let’s say you have spoken with and
qualified your prospects: a married
Gen Y couple. Before they come to
your office for the first time, make
sure to invest in some small touches
that go a long way. Remember that
even the length of the commute will
affect their decision making; your
Gen Y prospects will make a decision
to work with you quickly.
If you are in an office complex, pro-
vide priority parking for clients, and
tell prospects it is for their use. If you
work where parking is not something you can
control, provide specific directions for the best
and most convenient parking for your office. If
your prospects are taking mass transit to meet
you, be certain that the directions are accu-
rate and that the train or bus schedule hasn’t
changed for the time of their visit,
Everything about the walk from the car to
the front door of your office should be tidy
and clean. Again, this may be out of your con-
trol, but if you can decorate some area along
this walk to spruce it up, then do so.
Gen Y has more
invested in the
savings plans than
any prior generation
did at the same age.
ON THE PHONE
First impressions will make or break a prospective relationship. Gen
Y consumers judge very quickly, so make sure whoever answers
your phone is well trained. The prospect on the other end needs
undivided attention; he or she may determine if they want to work
with your company based on this phone call alone.
I call many different financial firms throughout my day, and this
is often a weak area. I’ve often faced a miserable, short-tempered
December 2012 Financial Planning 37