Who are the Millennials?
Let's start by pointing out that Millennials make up 24% of the U.S. population. That's a large group. In the insurance industry, if you're not trying to learn more about the Millennials, especially their purchasing habits, I urge you to reconsider. There's a lot you should know about Millennials that pertains to how you can begin conversations with them over insurance matters, and I can back these up being a Millennial myself. Take this with a grain of salt, but here are the facts that I think are most important to point out (Source: Nielsen's Millennials - Breaking The Myths):
- We value self-expression. We love social media sites because we can share our thoughts, creations and talents with our friends and family. For insurance agencies, if you don't already have a presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you're missing out on connecting with us. Just because you're a business doesn't mean you can only connect with us during business hours, within business walls. Though these social media sites may not be the best place to directly sell to us, they're a great place to start the conversation or at least learn more about us.
- We are family-oriented. "52 percent say being a good parent is one of their most important goals in life.." What does this mean for insurance agents? There are plenty of products you sell that you can sell from a family-oriented perspective. Millennials care about the futures of the families they have or plan to have. Take life insurance for example. I'm going to care about having life insurance because I plan to get married and have a family. And, in fact, I didn't know how important life insurance would be for me to have until an insurance agent pointed it out to me! And guess what, I made a plan with that insurance agent and will buy from him.
- We value authenticity when shopping. As an agent, your clients probably wouldn't classify their meeting with you to discuss insurance options as "shopping". But, the point is that Millennials want their purchase decisions to be personal and authentic. That's why websites like Etsy are a hit with us; we're doing business with real people who are passionate about what they do. This can be the same story with your agency. Care about your clients and make a conscious effort to know them on a personal level.
- We love smartphones. We're more connected via technology than any other generation thus far. Most of us sleep with our smartphones; yes, I've done it. No, our connectedness via technology isn't a surprise. However, it is a surprise how many businesses aren't really acknowledging this. All websites should be responsive. "70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within 1 hour." And mobile search is likely to surpass desktop search. If your website isn't responsive and easy to use on a mobile device, or worse yet, if you don't even have a website, you're clearly missing out on important opportunities. I know, personally, that if I'm searching on my phone and hit a website that isn't responsive, I leave and continue my search elsewhere. Or, if you don't have a website, I won't find you in the first place. It's that simple.
- We're optimistic about our financial future. "While 69 percent don't feel they currently earn enough to lead the kind of lifestyle they want, 88 percent think they'll be able to earn enough in the future." As an agent, be conscious that we really don't have a ton of money to spend on insurance coverage, and we won't buy anything we don't really feel we need. We're conscious spenders for the most part. However, take my life insurance example as a reference again. An agent cared about my needs and pointed out an area where coverage really did make sense for me, and then he showed me the ways it can be inexpensive while still meeting my needs. So, point out areas where a real need is there for your clients, but don't push coverage we don't need because some of us don't have the money for it right now. The good news: if we buy from you now and enjoy your service, we'll buy from you again later on. Remember: authenticity!
Those are the things I found to be most important for agencies and agents to know, but the rest of the report is really insightful, too. All of these points may seem overwhelming now, but if you take away one key finding, let it be this: we as Millennials want personalized communication. We want to buy from people who care about our needs and who make an effort to learn about our needs before selling to us. Thankfully, there are two things to help you do this: an agency management system & email marketing. We'd love to help you in these efforts, so check out how we can help with a free trial of our software: