Four tips to improve engagement with Gen X & Y

4 min read  
Date: 18 November 2016

Could it be time to look into a new way to further expand your business and ensure its longevity? Many advice business owners are now identifying new segments in the market to target, particularly younger generation X and Y clients.

To truly engage this group, it's important to have a strong understanding of their many defining characteristics, particularly their attitudes and beliefs.

This group of 30-somethings are unlike the clients that many advisers have previously worked with. They require a different proposition, so you need take an innovative approach to communicating and working with them.

Steve Crawford from Experience Wealth and Your Spending Coach presented at a Netwealth webinar and gave a few pointers for advisers wanting to develop relationships with Gen X and Y clients.

1. Focus on goals

To truly engage with the 30-something demographic, your advice strategy should be based around their personal goals. Understand what is happening in their lives, and their aspirations and drivers. Are they buying their first property? Starting a family? Paying off debt? Your best move will be to identify strategies where they can achieve their goals while maintaining the lifestyle they enjoy.

Most importantly, steer away from inadvertently pushing advice strategies towards them, no matter how tempting it may be to fall into your regular client-meeting routine. This advice won't resonate with this group.

2. Embrace Technology

They are a tech savvy bunch, and their decision making process will almost always start at Google. Consequently, you need to have a good website that promotes strong click through rates to other product pages within your website, and most importantly, encourages people to pick up the phone and give you a call. It is also essential that information is kept up-to-date, clear and concise.

This group (particularly Gen Y) also prefers to keep up with their errands and conversations on-the-go. They want to meet with their adviser in a time and places that is convenient within their busy calendar, and advisers need to embrace technology to assist in keeping up with their schedules remotely. Consider looking into video conferencing tools such as Skype, GoToMeeting, SuiteBox, or even FaceTime on the iPhone, to enable you to connect with your clients wherever they are.

Other tools that can improve your efficiency and reach with this audience include online appointment setting programs; cloud file storage systems; social media to help engage with the audience; cashflow and budgeting apps to help manage their money; and a platform like Netwealth that allows you to easily have them sign applications and forms via e-signatures.

3. Educate to empower

When it comes to super and retirements, this group tend to have difficulty prioritising and planing for it due to its lack of immediacy, and they often lack the understanding about their super options.

The wealth industry as a whole has a great opportunity to earn the trust of this cohort by helping them understand the benefits of superannuation through education. By improving their financial literacy and providing them the tools and resources to make the best longer-term financial decisions, there is the potential to gain customers for life.

Education needs to focus on and demonstrate how little changes in lifestyle and savings can deliver long term outcomes.  It needs to teach this cohort the different ways to think about super and how they can use it

4. Look at your fee structure

As a generalisation, younger clients are less willing to pay large fees for advice, so advisers targeting them might need to reconsider the way they charge for their services.

Steve recounted, that by acknowledging that his clients in their 30s were unlikely to pay high fees, it encouraged him to explore ways in which he could improve efficiencies in his workflow. These efficiencies resulted in cost savings that were passed on to his clients, providing him with a more competitive advice offering.

By being innovative and improving your processes, it can decrease the time it takes to complete tasks in your practice. This could allow you to reduce the amount you charge for your services and create a more financially attractive offering for these younger clients.

Although 30-somethings do not currently make up the wealthiest portion of our population, they are likely to inherit the wealth of the Baby Boomers in the future. It is therefore wise to engage with them now and start building your relationship with them early as they begin to mature both financially and through their life-stages.