Over the next few decades, we’ll witness the largest wealth transfer in history. This isn’t the sale of a massive corporation or a newly discovered oil deposit. Instead, it’s the passing of more than $30 trillion from Baby Boomers to their children. Will you be the one providing them with advice?
Unfortunately, as research by Fidelity Investments and PricewaterhouseCoopers shows, if current trends continue, more than 80-90% of all your clients’ children will fire you. According to Investment News Data, 75% of all financial advisors have never even met their clients’ children. How do you make sure you are not cast off by the next generation of investors? Here are a few ways to help you achieve this critical task.
1) Use technology to bridge the gap. It’s no secret. Millennials and Gen Xers are flocking to any number of do-it-yourself tech solutions. But despite their tech-savvy access to financial information, they still need your professional advice and services. Use technology to help bridge the generation gap and improve your inter-generational financial marketing. Provide secure, online access to documents and information and the ability to communicate anytime, anywhere. Not only will this help you initiate successful relationships with your clients’ children, tech-friendly channels will also allow you to increase client engagement and build deeper trust with your clients.
2) Build trust. Success is all about how you make your clients feel. Initiating new relationships and expanding opportunities with your clients are easier when clients trust you and know that you care. Of course, trust doesn’t happen overnight, but knowing that their parents or other family members trust you is a great place to start. Follow this up by communicating effectively with them through the channels they are the most comfortable with in order to build on those relationships.
3) Link to them. Use LinkedIn to maintain a connection with younger clients. Gen Xers and Millennials make up 88 percent of LinkedIn users — it’s one of the leading job-search tools and they see the value in building a network of connections. Also, if their email address ever changes, you have another way to reach out and stay on their radar, while also being seen by their network.
4) Start by helping, not selling. Share some helpful information with your clients. Provide a document, resource, app recommendation or referral and then let them know the different ways they can contact you for any other related needs that arise. You are much more likely to reach out to someone who helped you in the past than to approach someone you don’t know.
Chris Wong is CEO of LifeSite, creators of LifeSite Vault, the secure digital storage solution that helps people manage and share their most important information; and LifeSite Pro, the enterprise solution that helps financial advisors increase client engagement while providing secure collaboration for families. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.