To get millennial clients, get inside their heads

By BenefitsPro

By Paula Aven Gladych

Financial advisory firms that want to build a legacy need to consider the different ways generations approach life, said Mark Tibergien, CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions in a 2-minute BrightTALK presentation.

He pointed out that 90 percent of Millennials say they won’t work with their parents’ advisor because their parents’ advisor is on the same mortality clock as their parents.

“They want an advisor that will be around the same amount of time as they are,” Tibergien said.

There’s also a question of relatability. Is the advisor on the same level as the client in terms of how they think about things and empathize with people?

Millennials are five times more likely to change jobs, 40 percent have tattoos, 60 percent vote Democrat and 80 percent sleep with their phones, he said. “These are things that are foreign to boomers. They just can’t relate to it. Those are interesting observations about how people view life differently,” he said.

Communicating with younger generations can be a problem because they have a different world view. Most Millennials and GenXers prefer to communicate through technology. Boomers want to build a relationship with an advisor before deciding whether or not to work with them. Younger generations want advisors to prove they are worthy and then they will decide whether or not to work with them, Tibergien said.

Baby boomers prefer personal conversation. Pick up the phone; walk down to someone’s office or set up a meeting,” he said.

Millennials would be happy to converse via text message.

“The challenge for advisors is to recognize they can build a business to serve that generation, but it is not likely to be with them. It will be with the people they hire within that business,” he said. “Frankly, they have to think about it if they want to build a business that lasts. There’s a belief that when the last boomer dies, the world will come to an end. The reality is so much different. There’s an oversupply of clients and an undersupply of people to provide advice. The wealth for those under 45 is as great as it is for those over age 45. People who want to serve that industry need to think about that. Advisory firms that want to build a legacy need to think about that.”

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