For young financial advisors, nothing is more challenging than overcoming the age bias that older clients have against them. I hear it often from advisors who come through our training programs—that feeling as though they are viewed more like a child or grandchild than a financial advisor. It creates a perceived impression that young advisors don’t have the experience, skills, or knowledge to appreciate the circumstances of older clients, let alone guide them in making critical financial decisions.
That may be understandable and, in some cases, deserved. Older prospects are right to question a young advisor’s experience and depth of knowledge. But the problem may not be with the perceptions of older clients as much as it is with the mindset of younger advisors. Most advisors have gone through that painful period of not knowing what they need to know and feeling embarrassed to meet prospects who may sense that.
The primary difference between where they are now compared to where they were back when they knew less and lacked experience is confidence.