I work with financial service and insurance organizations on developing their next generation of financial advisors. I consult with insurance carriers, banks, independent agencies and commercial brokerages on their business development strategies. The last several years have focused on attracting, onboarding, and developing new team members and new producers. I coach with them on digital prospecting and new client development activities.
2019 is going to be a year of tremendous change in all financial service organizations. We are going to see many producers and agency leaders moving towards retirement. Baby boomers are leaving the workforce at the rate of 10,000 people per day.
A client recently emailed me some statistics about how younger agents invest their time developing business. I wondered if they consider these activities prospecting or nurturing clients.
The following information came from a recent issue of Insurance Journal on the next generation of producers, what these producers do and how they see their careers evolving.
Here’s how younger insurance agents and brokers invest their time in 2018:
|63.4%||attend local business or community meetings.|
|65.3%||volunteer in my community.|
|15.9%||get involved in local politics.|
|13.8%||write a blog.|
|59.6%||utilize insurance coverage or other checklists.|
|69.2%||take insurance courses on the internet.|
What do you see in this information about next generation of insurance and financial planning professionals? Is it different in other advisory roles and careers? Based on internal research from my technology clients on their sales teams, I’d say these numbers are very similar to what they find in their sales forces and their clients. Newer sales professionals are changing how they prospect and develop business.
This is good news and bad. Many of my tech clients invest significantly in sales training and development for their next generation of sales leaders. Sadly, many of the advisors I work with tell me they must invest their own money for training and development. Much of their organizations’ training is old and out of date.
The good news is the most successful advisors invest in their future. As a smaller organization, if you want to be an employer of choice providing leading edge business development training can give you an edge. The payback can be incredible for accelerating your new advisors success with new clients.
The bad news is, this trend may mean that they have less loyalty than past generations of sales producers. I believe independent agencies and advisors have more flexibility in terms of how they serve future generations of clients.
Millennials and GenXs have many more options with their sales careers. In case you forget with all this talk about tech enablement and artificial intelligence, you still need a trusted advisor to lead your most profitable relationships. Your best clients are looking for trusted advisors, not agents to navigate through all these challenges. They also prefer dealing with people who align with their values and their community.
What struck me about the above information was that in many ways, your younger agents may be in a better position to help you get better clients. They are using what’s worked in the past as well as adding a digital twist to it. But is this enough?
My answer is no! They need to add a digital prospecting process to their business development activities. The future belongs to leaders who can leverage technology to create stronger relationships and partnerships with their clients and partners.
To me, digital prospecting is leveraging technologies to track and better understand your clients’ lives. On many social platforms, your producers can build deeper relationships with clients.
Privacy for individuals and organization is thing of the past. I don’t like this fact, but it could be a challenge or an opportunity for successful sales professionals. I believe digital prospecting is the next evolution of professional agent. Digital prospecting helps your agents go from agent to trusted advisor.
For many millenials and GenX agents and brokers and, for that matter, their clients, it’s a natural progression in their business relationships. I would add that many women prefer dealing with the whole person and community when choosing their financial partnerships. In an early January blog, I will share more on how digital prospecting works and why it can transform your client development activities.
See you next week.