Selling Insurance to Different Generations: What works for millennials, might not work for boomers

The insurance market is more diverse now than it ever was. With five distinct generations, millennials contribute nearly a quarter (about 92 million) of the total US population. The largest group since Boomers, who cover around 61 million of the population. Generation X is estimated to outnumber Baby boomers in 2028 with 64.6 to 63.7 million ratios.

So how should you sell insurance to them? Know about each generation and their buying behavior.

Generation Diversity- What is it?

Generation diversity is the variety of people representing different age groups, working together. From silent generation, who are ripe with experience, to generation Z, who are bringing out newer ideas and their thirst for knowledge, each generation has its own style. Though not without challenge.

There are many opportunities and benefits to a diverse environment for an insurance agent.

The opportunity

With the rise of millennial and their step towards adulthood, now is the best time to approach them. Though millennial aren’t the only possible investors. The majority of baby boomers are considering their retirement plan, and with it, the need to look after their lifelong asset and family members as well.

The way you approach your clients varies according to their needs and requirements. How to sell insurance to people of different generations? First know about those generations. You need to know what they are comfortable with and the kind of environment they grew up around. Understand their nature, their behavior, and you will learn to deal with them accordingly. Therefore, connect with different generations successfully by understanding their buying behavior.


Now let’s break down different generations and the way to deal with each one of them.

Millennials (Gen Y) 1981-1996   

The main priority for Gen Y is expenses like food and shelter followed by internet and phone bills. Pew Research Center claims about one-third of adults under age 30 have student loan debt. Why? Well, with higher priority like living expenses and student loans, it is only sensible to think twice before purchasing insurance. A 2015 study by Limra reported that millennials are not likely to buy life insurance.

So, you will need to create a value for them to buy insurance.

Social media marketing is the way to build a connection with this generation. A few things that will give you the edge when marketing for insurance to millennials are:


Going online

Millennials tend to avoid social interactions. They prefer to do things indirectly. Direct involvement, as far as they are concerned, is not a must. They are more likely to embrace your services if you stay inside their comfort zone. So how do you approach people that hate direct interactions? You go online.  


Embracing technology

Millennials grew up with technology. They have seen the discman evolve to smartphones and dial-up internet change to Wi-Fi. Embrace the fact that they prefer the use of technology. Social marketing, blogging, or practically any digital platform is an option you cannot miss. Therefore, always use the options that are at your disposal.

Blogging is an excellent technique for building a relationship with millennials. They tend to follow and appreciate proper blogging. Even more critical are online testimonials. If you succeed, remember to get testimonials of people vouching for your services. Peer recommendation and authentic testimonials stand out in the eyes of millennials.

If they see others trust you and your services, they are more likely to do the same.

Therefore, going online and selling insurance is not only to target the millennials, but you can cover a wider range of insurance market. Making an online presence as an agent can help you generate leads and make insurance sales.

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The Silent Generation 1933-1945

Born and raised in a surrounding altered by war, technology did not influence this generation. They relied on direct communication. Radio was considered advanced. People who lived this age value human interaction over any other form of communication.   

Some few things that are a must while dealing with this generation are:   


Respectful tone of voice when communicating

Always approach this generation with respect. Avoid any use of slang or profanities when interacting with the silent generation as they consider it offense. Consider using their last name (like Mr/s. Smith) or ask for permission before you address them directly. Attention to detail will help build a connection with this generation.


Business-like communications and appearance

Being formal and business-like goes for both communications and physical appearance. You should look like you know what you are doing and sound like you know what you’re saying. When you try making sales to them, be sure not to let your guard down. A professional sales associate can win their favor by the power of their words alone. Presentation of proficiency and professionalism is a critical quality that you should demonstrate when dealing with the silent generation. 


Financially conservative

Special pricing is very appealing to them. And due to their age, they might qualify for some very exclusive discounts that might help you seal the deal. If you are going to sell insurance, do it with attractive offers and exclusive deals. Propose them with offers they can’t resist, and you’ll find success.

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The Baby Boomers 1946-1964   

Baby boomers adapted to independence early in their lives. They were reckless, outgoing, and spent most of their childhood outdoors. These activities led them to be better at social interactions. They have excellent communication skills and prefer face-to-face interaction. This makes it simpler when approaching them to sell insurance but not easy.

They rely and believe in hard copies of data. They prefer direct and one-on-one communication over online mediums and are less inclined towards technology. So, when you are going to approach to this generation, stick to being old school.

A few things that you should note while dealing with this generation are:


Direct communication

Baby boomers prefer direct means of contact. They prefer one-to-one meetings and conversations the most, but telephone calls, online live chats, and some other semi-personal mediums are also on the table. Your tone and form of language should always be formal and business-like if you want to sell insurance.   


Obey rules and follow procedures

Clients like these are hard to obtain but easy to retain. ‘Finders keepers’ holds with this generation since baby boomers are loyal to one company or agent. While it’s hard to make them change their clients, it’s rather simple to keep them around. Do not try to go around the rules. They like to stick by the books, so you better do the same if you want to sell insurance.   


Provide them with value

It would be best if you gave this generation a reason to change what they already have. You need to provide value that is better and convincing. Sell insurance to them, but don’t abandon the duty that comes after. They prefer to work with a single agency, so give them a reason to stick around.   


Use business-like and politically correct language

While baby boomers are familiar with online communication, you will still need to maintain formality. When dealing with baby boomers, you want to be upfront and confident. Your attire should match your behavior, as well. You are the one who wants to sell insurance, and they are not obliged to talk to you. Your response with them must always be well-mannered.  


The website should be trouble-free for them to cruise through

Though not dependent, baby boomers still use technology. If you want your websites and your online sales to find success with this generation, keep it simple. Your goal is to sell insurance, so don’t complicate it too much. Create a website that baby boomers can maneuver through without any trouble.   


Client retention

Baby boomers prefer sticking to one agent for as long as they can. They are hard customers to sell insurance to; that is, if they already have an agent. If you succeed and sell insurance to them, baby boomers are easy to retain. It cost five times more to pursue a new lead than to continue an existing one. The probability of selling to a new prospect against the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% vs. 5-20%. You do the math here and decide whether you want to retain an old customer or sell insurance to a new one.  

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Generation X 1965-1980   

Born during the time technology advanced, Gen X barely missed the start of the internet. Often referred to as The Forgotten generation, Gen X is hard to please. People between the age group of 30-54 who fall under this category are not unknown to technology but are not as reliant on it as the newer generations.   They rely and believe in hard copies of data. They prefer direct and one-on-one communication over online mediums and are less inclined towards technology. So, when you are going to sell insurance to this generation, stick to being old school.

A few things you might need to keep in mind while dealing with this generation are:


Diversify your approach

Generation X grew up with technology around them but not with them. Technology was a luxury they had to spend on. It doesn’t mean they are oblivious to it. The way you sell insurance to them needs to be diverse. Physical approaches like door-to-door sales and phone calls are there, but you can extend your reach. Tactics like social media marketing, email marketing can also come in handy.   


Show them the value of your product

Generation X consider themselves as providers. They want to be able to provide for their families. A possible approach can be the benefit of promised security and reliability for them and their families. How you sell insurance should reflect the value of the insurance. You need to convince them the significance of insurance and how important of an asset it can prove to be.  


Be conservative with your proposal

Gen X is actively trying to stay out of debt, not get into more. A lot of them have outstanding student loans and mortgages. If you want to sell insurance to them, your plan should make sense to them financially. 

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Gen Z 1997-2015   

A recent study shows that 90.55 million of the US population are Generation Z alone. Although young, Gen Z will require insurance shortly. Gen Z can be considered the future of insurance. They are not yet independent but they are the future. Concerned about their well-being, Gen Z is bound to ensure what they hold dear. And why wouldn’t they be?

The Gen Z population believe they are realistic and practical. Although millennials inherited technology and the internet, Gen Z is the real digital audience. The value and experience your agency provide should match with their beliefs.

To find success with Gen Z, try to:


Be the advisor and provide guidance

Gen Z expects proper guidance and instructions from you. They are not familiar with insurance yet. To successfully sell insurance to Gen Z, you need to advise them about the importance of insurance. They want to learn before they involve themselves with anything. 

Trust can be lost as easily as it is gained. Guide them without making them feel gullible, and you will win their favor.   


Stay updated with tech

Millennials grew with the technology evolving around them. But Gen Z were born into advanced technology. Outdated technology is an old-fashioned service to them. So old ways to sell insurance will not gain their attention. They do not value your service if you do not meet the terms of their technological preferences.   


Consider different marketing approaches

Face-to-face is more open to Gen Z than they were with millennials. So you know the same marketing approaches will not work. If you want to sell insurance to Gen Z, your marketing approach needs to be versatile.   


24/7 Customer service

Not accustomed to waiting, Gen Z has lived most of their lives getting what they want, when they want it. They highly depend on customer service and furthermore, rate any service accordingly.   

Of course, people will still want to browse their interests from the comfort of their own house. However, you need to take the initiative and engage them directly. Not all of them will comply with a single method, so you need to be creative.

Wrapping Up

Although these tips an help you target multiple clients from different generation, there are always outliers; who has evolved and adapted to newer generation. Insurance sales tips are just a guideline. If you want to be successful you must be standing out of the crowd. There is a lot of competition for insurance agents and insurance producers, and one must stand out to be well recognized. One way to make yourself different from the others is to have an Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) certification for insurance producer.

Therefore, no matter which generation you want to target, you should always focus on building a strong connection and understanding your clients needs first.

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Learn how you can flourish as an agent after one call!

Schedule a call right now and learn how you can ease your work, sell more, and increase your profits!

Selling Insurance to Different Generations

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