who are independent insurance agents
Millennials don’t like independent agents.

Actually, that’s not true.

Millennials would like us, if only they knew who we were.

Unfortunately, for the last decade, we’ve pretended the Millennial generation didn’t exist.

For the last decade, we’ve sat in our little castles and scoffed at the needs of Millennials.

“You don’t make any money writing renters insurance.”

“We’re not the kind of agency that writes stand-alone youth auto.”

“They don’t appreciate the service independents agents provide.”

Blah. Blah. Blah.

My friends, we’re about the pay the price for a decade of bad decisions.

The Millennials turn 35 this year.

That’s right, 35 and they’re ready to settle down and start buying things. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were looking to independent insurance agents for their home, auto and business coverage needs?

That would be amazing.

Except the Millennial generation doesn’t have a clue who we are and the professional service we provide our clients.

Why don’t Millennials understand independent insurance agents?

Don’t.

Don’t even go there.

Don’t even begin to blame Millennials.

It’s not Millennials fault that we’ve ignored them for a decade.

It’s our fault.

It’s our fault Millennials view us as out-of-touch, antiquated, stodgy old grey hairs only fit to do business with their grandparents.

It’s our fault.

We’ve ignored them and now we’re going to pay the price.

Excuses are like…

The common excuse I get from independent agents about our lack of penetration in the Millennials market usually revolves around three major themes:

  1. Technology
  2. Laziness
  3. Bad Risk

All three of these excuses are stupid. It pains me that in 2016, we’re still having this conversation.

Millennials are a Bad Risk

I’m a Millennial. I have 815 credit score, own a house, two cars and pay my premiums yearly in-full.

Am I a bad risk?

At 24 I wasn’t a great risk. But I’m 35 now and I’m the perfect risk for an independent agent.

You don’t want to write my insurance?

Sure you do.

People are good or bad risks. It has nothing to do with being a Millennial.

This is a stupid excuse.

Millennials are Lazy

This is just offensive.

Ask your Millennial employees who they believe is lazy in your agency?

Probably the person who comes in late, leaves early and plays golf every other day.

People are lazy or they’re not. It has nothing to do with being a Millennial.

This is a stupid excuse.

Millennials are More Interested in Technology

There are a bunch of excuses that get filed under this one:

  • Millennials have no attention span
  • Millennials don’t value customer service
  • Millennials want to do everything online

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Millennials have been raised in a world of availability and access. They don’t need to listen to your 45-minute sales pitch, nor do they care to. That doesn’t mean they lack an attention span.

Millennials value customer service as much as you do. The difference is they don’t believe customer service separates your business. They don’t see customer service as a reason to buy. Customer service is the bar, it’s the barrier to entry, it’s the lowest common denominator for a Millennial to even consider your business.

Millennials are more interested in the customer experience you provide.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Value customer service over customer experience and you’re already a commodity.[/tweet_box]

Ok.

On the technology thing. Yes. Millennials want to do most things online. Technology has always been and will always be a big part of their lives.

GET OVER IT.

Stop complaining and figure it out.

Work for an insurance carrier?

Go figure out Snapchat. Not willing to do that? Then you don’t care about capturing Millennials. Snapchat users view over 8 billion videos a day. You read that right, 8 billion a day.

Most carriers won’t even consider Snapchat. Internal politics and a complete lack of understanding in customer behavioral psychology will continue to dull they’re every message.

But eventually, one will and if it’s not already too late, that carrier will stand out and dominate the Millennial market.

Want to get a feel for Snapchat? My user id is “ryanmhanley” or click here if you’re mobile.

Work for an independent agency?

Start creating video and figure out Instagram. Not willing to do that? Then you don’t care about capturing Millennials.

Most agencies won’t even consider Instagram. Their own mix of hubris and ignorance will keep them firmly locked to the office phone, “dialing for dollars.”

But eventually, an agency in your local market will figure out that Millennials want to communicate, where they want to communicate. This agency will stand out and dominate the Millennial market.

Want to get a feel for Instagram. Connect with me here.

This isn’t rocket science, it’s marketing.

Get over the excuses and get to work.

Here is a short video I posted on the Agency Nation Facebook page this week which breaks this argument down a little further:

Weekend rant laser focused on carriers and agents complaining about Millennials.

Posted by Agency Nation on Saturday, March 12, 2016

You can also watch this video on Facebook.

The Millennial Market

It’s time to stop thinking of Millennials as some strange mutation of the Homo Sapien species.

Millennials are your kids, your grandkids, your brothers and your sisters.

Exchange rotary phone for a cell phone and they’re exactly the same as you were at that age. They’re trying to figure things out. The difference is, they’ve been abandoned by the independent insurance agent.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Millennials have been abandoned by the independent agent. We need to change this.[/tweet_box]

From the most recent Facebook IQ study, titled Millennials and Money: The Unfiltered Journey:

53 percent of millennials say they don’t have a trusted source for financial advice.

What?

You mean a decade of GEICO and they still don’t have a trusted source for financial advice?

People… friends… it’s not too late.

Millennials are just beginning to hit a time in their life when really need a trusted advisor for their insurance (might I be so bold as to say a Trusted Choice).

But we have to act now.

We can’t ignore the Millennials any longer.

Affluent Millennials are 1.6x more likely to switch their insurance.

Don’t you want them switching their insurance to you?

Stop making excuses and get to work.

Here is a fantastic infographic which breaks down the study:

facebook_iq_millennials_money_infographic
image credit: giphy.

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