5 Ways to Win Millennial Clients—and 5 Ways to Lose Them

Millennial buyers are the future of your agency. Win them now and they’ll give your practice legs for the next 35 years.

But millennials approach the buying process differently. When we interviewed millennials about how they want to be treated as customers, they responded as follows.

How to Win My Business

1) Approach me through my parents. That’s OK by me, as long as you have a product I need. I’ll still research the competition, but my parents’ recommendation means a lot. 

2) Let me do this online. I want an easy-to-use online portal with 24/7 live chat support. If we never talk face to face, that’s OK. If we need to meet, suggest a coffeehouse or someplace more casual then your office.

3) Be transparent about how insurance works. Remember that I'm new when it comes to insurance, and I’m impressed by honesty. Tell me what incentives agents have. I want to know what kind of profit the company takes. Give me non-biased, third-party articles about the company. 

4) Show me the fit.  Apply your product to my specific circumstances. Play out examples for me—if I have a kid, if I live at home, if I start a business, if I have an accident, whatever. I want a simple, honest value proposition: cost vs. benefit.

5) Be local. Show me what your agency does for the community. I expect your business to make the world a better place. Showcase your efforts on social media, and offer me and other clients opportunities to volunteer or support your good work.

How to Lose Me Fast

1) Focus on retirement. Talk retirement up front and I’m out of here. Start where I am—paying off debt, planning to marry, renting, adopting a dog or thinking about buying a house. 

2) Make me call you. Calling someone on the phone is a turnoff. Text me, or use email. I like chat support more than phone calls. 

3) Pressure me. I’m totally turned off by high-pressure sales. Don’t go doomsday on me with the bad stuff that might happen, and don’t try to upsell me. Just talk to me. And forget forced referrals. That will send me running. If I like your service, I’ll refer you to friends when and if they need your products. 

4) Surprise me with hidden fees. This is a big one. Make sure you explain every single cost up front. 

5) Be fake or blah. I want to do business with somebody who’s real and interesting. If I look at you online and just see another suit and tie, I’ll click to somebody else. Share your personality and your passions on social media so I can feel like I know the real you. 

In general, winning millennial hearts is about being in the moment. This generation takes instant information for granted, so a millennial client may shoot you quick questions anytime. Whether they text you a question about savings, credit cards or budgets, stop and address that question. Don’t put them off with talk about a long-range plan or trying to schedule a sit-down. Just provide the essential facts, your disclaimer and your best (brief) answer. 

Trust those digital moments. For millennials, they add up to a relationship with you long before you ever meet in person.

Amy Lynch works with companies that want to harness of the power of generational intelligence to market, innovate and lead. She has shared her insights with hundreds of groups, including MTV, Liberty Mutual, Fidelity Investments, Boeing and the staff of the U.S. Senate.