Get a better understanding of your prospects and, in turn, effectively attract, convert, and retain clients.
In 2019, the senior market was at roughly 72 million individuals–making up a significant part of the market share. With that said, it’s clear that there are plenty of opportunities for agencies to help seniors get the right insurance for their needs.
When it comes to sales, marketing, and customer service in insurance, every generation has its preferences. Here’s a closer look at what seniors are looking for and strategies you can use to prevent them from choosing a competitor.
First Things First: Know Your Audience
These descriptions are generalizations about each generation; it is not universally true for or applicable to every individual in the senior market.
In order to convert more insurance leads, you must first know who it is you’re targeting with your sales and marketing efforts. The senior market is made up of two generations: the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers, who are either retired or near retirement age.
The Silent Generation
People born during The Great Depression and World War II are part of the Silent Generation:
- Born between 1928 to 1945
- Ages range from 78 to 94 (in 2022)
- 23 million in the U.S.
- Grew up or lived through World War II and The Great Depression
- Also known as the Golden Generation, Swing Generation, or Traditionalists
What are their characteristics?
There are a few theories behind this generation’s name, but many speculate that it’s because the children of this era grew up during a time of great economic hardship and were characteristically withdrawn, hard-working, and cautious.
This generation is stringent and values rationing, saving resources, morals, and ethics–which is likely due to their experiences growing up during The Great Depression and World War II.
Like the generation before them, the Silent Generation witnessed the majority of the technological and artistic changes of the mid-to-late 20th and 21st centuries. Although they weren’t born with technology, they have become increasingly tech-savvy with age. The majority of this generation uses desktop computers and laptops; tablets and smartphones are also popular.
In 1946, more babies were born in America than ever before–this boom in population growth is why this generation is called “Baby Boomers”:
- Born between 1946 to 1964
- Ages range from 58 to 76 (in 2022)
- 72.1 million in the U.S.
- Over 40 million are 65+
- Children of the Silent Generation
- Also known as the Me Generation, Love Generation, and Sandwich Generation
The Great Depression and World War II caused many people to wait to get married and start families, so when these events ended, many historians say it sparked a spike in family growth. Keep in mind that not all Baby Boomers are part of the 65+ market yet, but they are quickly approaching.
What are their characteristics?
Since the internet wasn’t around, Baby Boomers were born into a world that was a little “smaller.” They grew up with the mindset of “Be Here Now,” and they highly value individualization, self-expression, optimism, and overall happiness. Some define themselves by their careers–which has turned a lot into workaholics. This may be because many grew up with very little or with stringent parents that lived through The Great Depression.
Like the generations before them, Baby Boomers are also worried about their health and future. Some didn’t plan for retirement well–in fact, more older Americans than ever are still working on a part- or full-time basis.
Baby Boomers are referred to as the “Sandwich Generation,” which means that they may be caring for their children and parents at the same time since longevity has skyrocketed. This is one of the main reasons they continue to work well past retirement age.
How To Connect With and Convert Senior Market Prospects
Now that you have some background on the views and values of those in the senior market, here are some ways you can connect with them and build lasting relationships.
1. Use a Variety of Platforms
The majority of the 65+ market prefers more traditional marketing methods instead of modern, digitally-based mediums. However, there are a few digital marketing tactics you will want to use to appeal to the senior market audience.
Email is a great marketing touchpoint for older adults. You’re able to communicate with them in a consistent and personal way, which are both things they value. With an agency management system (AMS) like AgencyBloc, you can use Automated Workflow to send email campaigns throughout the year and, in turn, better serve senior prospects while saving time.
In addition, you will also want a strong website to ensure you don’t miss valuable lead acquisition opportunities. Since many older adults do online research before buying, giving them a place to learn more about your services and offerings builds trust. Plus, if you have an optimized lead form, they’ll be able to seamlessly take the next step.
Keep in mind that while technology and social media use are on the rise with these generations, this group isn’t as attached to technology as younger generations. If you are currently focusing on digital tactics with your seniors, consider broadening your horizons with the following marketing methods.
Seniors value face-to-face interaction, which makes seminars and open houses powerful tactics. Hold these events somewhere that your prospects would be interested in going, like a museum or a community center. Provide food and branded handouts so that they can get comfortable, and present your pitch in about 30 minutes or less.
Make sure your pitch gives them an idea of who you are, the value you provide, and how you can help them with their insurance needs. Present everything in non-confrontational, non-controversial layman’s terms that are easy to understand–and don’t forget your business cards! Afterward, stick around to gather their contact information and answer any questions.
Keep in mind that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some older adults may be more comfortable with a video call. Use video chat software, like Zoom or Skype, to help facilitate face-to-face communication in a comfortable way.
Since the Silent and Boomer generations can be slow to trust, referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are extremely powerful. In fact, people are 90% more likely to trust and make a purchase from a company that was recommended by a loved one.
Providing an excellent customer experience to current clients is a great way to ensure you’re getting referrals regularly (which we’ll discuss later). Then, you can use your sales pitch, additional marketing tactics, and website content to convert referrals who aren’t ready to buy.
The Silent Generation and Baby Boomers are dedicated to staying up-to-date with what’s going on around them–and since they’re more familiar with traditional marketing platforms, they’re more likely to see these ads.
Buy ad space in the local paper, run a radio or television ad, sponsor local events, or send direct mailers to get your agency in front of your target audience.
2. Tailor Your Messaging
Seniors appreciate simplicity, convenience, accessibility, straightforwardness, and professionalism. They want to know they are supported and have the flexibility to choose what’s best for them.
Both generations care a lot about the value of their investments–many will spend more when they see that what they’re buying is worthwhile. This is extremely important to keep in mind when you’re working with and selling to the senior market. If they don’t see the value in you or your pitch, they likely won’t buy in.
Plus, many are slow to trust and embrace change, which means you must earn their confidence to ensure conversion and retention. Lead with how you’re bringing value in your sales and marketing tactics to get their attention and trust.
Respect and professionalism are incredibly important to these generations, so make sure when you do address them, you use Sir, Ma’am, Mr., Mrs./Ms./Miss. Although they’re aging, they’re not fond of being reminded of it. Avoid words and phrases like “senior citizen,” “retiree,” or “silver/golden years.”
3. Provide High-Quality Customer Experience
A key way to display the value of working with you is by showing rather than telling. This is best done by providing an excellent customer service experience–especially since these generations value customer service and personal contact.
The number one reason clients leave an insurance agency is due to a lack of meaningful and regular communication, which is a key part of good customer service. It can take a lot of time and energy to regularly create and send emails on top of your other responsibilities.
Use an industry-specific AMS, like AgencyBloc, to stay organized, prevent data silos, and keep up with important information, like when someone is aging into Medicare. Plus, you can easily communicate policy changes and renewals, identify cross-selling opportunities, track referrals, and more.
Great customer service makes a big difference and can increase the likelihood that your senior clients will recommend you to their friends—which will get your foot in the door in the senior market since they highly trust word-of-mouth.
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