What Professionalism Means To Millennials


 Millennials are just different. They are no longer children; some members of Generation Z are already reaching their mid-20s. But Millennials will remain a target for criticism until society begins to recognize that next generation.

People who want to defend Millennials will tell you they are just like everyone else, just younger, but Spectrem’s study Preferred Sales Approach: Capturing the Wealthy Investor indicates otherwise.

The Spectrem study examines all the ways advisors can approach prospective clients in order to acquire new business, and one of the topics is the characteristics investors look for in their prospective advisors. Investors were asked to define professionalism in an advisor, and the top three choices of all investors were “expertise”, “being accountable” and “being well-organized”.

But those same investors were then asked to list one of the 10 characteristics as their No. 1 preferred characteristic that demonstrates professionalism, and while older investors showed some similar thoughtfulness in their responses, Millennials jumped off the rails.

For the Generation X, Baby Boomer and World War II investors, the top two most popular answers regarding the No. 1 characteristic that demonstrates professionalism were “expertise” and “being ethical”. Note that “being ethical” was not one of the top three choices overall, but when investors were asked to pick just one characteristic, “being ethical” jumped ahead of “being accountable” and “being well-organized”.

Then there were the Millennial investors, who joined their older cohorts in choosing “expertise” as the No. 1 characteristic; it was selected by 37 percent of all investors and that percentage was nearly the same among all age groups.  But as their second choice in that category, Millennials selected “consistency” (14 percent). Among the older investors, only approximately 3 percent considered “consistency’’ as the No. 1 trait of professionalism among advisors.

It gets better, or more different! Thirteen percent of Millennials chose “being well-organized’’ as the No. 1 preferred characteristic of a professional advisor. Among Millennials, “being ethical’’ was the fourth choice in the category, at 10 percent, compared to the approximately 25 percent of older investors who made that choice.

Understanding the values which Millennials hold most dear would be paramount to making successful sales calls on that age group.

Throughout the study, there are indications that not only are Millennials different in how they want to be approached as a new prospect, but that Generation X has different standards and Baby Boomers and World War II investors like the old ways of making contact and introductions.

For more information on the study, click here.



©Spectrem 2020

Keywords: millennials, investors, advisors, Spectrem, professionalism, preferred sales approach