Sponsored by The Investment Center

By Nicola Sutton

It’s the time of year when resolutions are set, and marketing plans are written. Advisors will be working on strategies to target Millennials… STOP… why Millennials? Why are many in our industry missing out on the benefits of working with a key demographic, Generation X?

At a recent best practice workshop, a fellow forty-something described himself as an ‘Angry Gen-Xer’, and with good reason. Born between 1965 and 1980, the forgotten generation sits, like a neglected middle child, between baby boomers and millennials. Most advisors have focused on their generational peer group, the baby boomers. Aging books of business, coupled with a myriad of articles on how to appeal to millennials, has resulted in the forgotten generation living up to its nickname.

Characteristics of Generation X
Harvard Business Review called Generation X “the greatest entrepreneurial generation in U.S. history, their high-tech savvy and marketplace resilience have helped America prosper in the era of globalization.”

35% of Gen-Xers have college degrees. For couples, it is common for both partners to work, with one-fifth of Gen-X professional women out-earning their partners. 87% use
the internet and 80% of them like to comparison shop prior to purchase.

Benefits of working with Gen-Xers
The benefits of working with Gen-Xers are numerous; the most important for our industry is they understand the benefits of financial planning and are willing to pay for it.
According to a recent report from Cerulli Associates, there is going to be a $68 trillion multigenerational shift in wealth with Gen-Xers the primary beneficiaries, which will make them the generation with the greatest wealth.

Gen-Xers are reaching the peak of their careers so are in their prime earning years. They are brand loyal and active on social networks, so if you do a good job, they’ll stick with you and won’t be shy about telling their friends.

According to Pew, 48% of Gen-Xers expect to provide primary care for an aging parent, and 64% have one child or more living at home, giving you the opportunity to work with centers of influence to provide a holistic service model that goes beyond investments.

Multigenerational living also gives you access to those much talked about millennials.

Building your Gen-X Client Base
Take these steps to build your Gen-X client base:

  • Build relationships with the beneficiaries of your clients in the distribution stage. These inheritors will often be Gen-Xers.
  • Establish Service Models and Fee Structures targeted at Gen-X. Time is a premium for Gen-X clients. Utilize technology such as video conferencing to save time or to build relationships with out-of-staters. For younger Gen-Xers consider alternative payment methods to AUM fees.
  • Determine if you have a particular Gen-X niche and build service models, COI relationships, and communication plans accordingly.
  • Create a Gen-X Advisory Board. Gen-Xers are tech-savvy, like to be first adopters, and are willing to help fellow Gen-Xers. All of which means they make great members for advisory boards.

Developing a business plan with Gen-X clients and prospects at its core will help you build longstanding multigenerational client relationships and lead to sustainable business growth.

Nicola Sutton is Director of Practice Management at The Investment Center Inc. Nicola uses her expertise to provide customized solutions to Investment Center advisors via the Advisor Practice Management and Marketing Program (AMP) and can be reached at [email protected] or (908) 707-4422.

The information contained is derived from sources believed to be accurate. However we do not guarantee its accuracy.
Learn more at www.investmentctr.com/affiliate/advisor-marketing-program.

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