Nov 08 2023
Capturing the young and restless: fresh graduates
By Dhavina Sivanesan
Dato Gui Siew Luang, a 22-year MDRT member from Puchong, Malaysia, has been noticing that more and more fresh graduates are seeking expert financial advice, especially on matters related to financial protection and investments. This is likely due to several factors, including the rising cost of healthcare, increasing awareness of financial planning and the long-term benefits of insurances. So how do you tap into this segment?
According to Gui, fresh graduates in Malaysia are a demographic that is often overlooked and under-researched. They are young with a world full of opportunities ahead of them, eager to grab on to the best chances that come their way. They are out exploring ways to put their best foot forward to create the brightest future possible, and Gui calls it “the golden time to develop themselves.” Having said this, fresh graduates may also face the issue of limited resources — granted that they have just graduated with little work experience and are just starting out their professional careers.
Understanding your market
Gui believes there are a number of things that financial advisors can do to capture the fresh graduate market in Malaysia, and they first need to understand the needs of this demographic who usually live on a tight budget. “We need to understand that they are looking for coverage plans that are affordable and provide comprehensive benefits, which means it must offer good value for money,” she shares. As financial advisors, we will need to adjust the plans for them to accommodate their needs.
Gui said that upon speaking with one of her potential fresh graduate client, she realized he had additional responsibilities to contribute to the family household’s financials upon obtaining a job. “I took the liberty to dive into his family medical history and lifestyle, and then proceeded to recommend a financial plan that covered his most prevalent needs.”
“Full and comprehensive plans are beneficial for those who can afford it. I removed the additional frills and thrills, and provided what we, collectively, thought would cover the current situation.”
Patience is a virtue
In her years of being a financial advisor, Gui has met many young adults, a majority of whom have numerous questions ranging from simple, basic questions to advanced questions, and even some that may not even be relevant to the industry. “We must be patient in listening to their concerns and address them adequately. Financial advisors should be ready to provide them with the information and support they need to make informed financial decisions.” This patience invested at the start can also translate into a long-term relationship built on mutual trust.
Gui adds, “I try to be present and invested in what they are saying – sometimes our clients do not know how to articulate their concerns or issues. By being present, and with years of experience, you practice this skill. Another thing I always practice, which every financial advisor should as well, is the no judgement policy. Do not judge your client’s perspective or way of lifve. We should listen to them without judgements to be able to advise them effectively.”
People are generally worried about being judged so Gui tries to make her clients and prospects comfortable and at ease. “I also adapt the way I speak to match their conversation style and that makes them more comfortable, hence opening up to me. It eases the whole process and running out patience will no longer be an issue.”
Enlighten the youth
With fresh graduates being young adults, possibly naïve to the workings of the world, Gui says we should take the time in educating them about the benefits of financial plans and the differences between them. “Financial advisors can help fresh graduates build their financial foundations effectively at a younger age and educate them by leveraging our in-depth expertise and knowledge of the industry.” This also helps them to make a wiser decision when choosing a plan that best fits their individual needs and budget.
It will also prepare them for life’s unexpected circumstances, as she recalls story of a client she onboarded as a young graduate. “Upon explaining the most common critical illnesses in Malaysia, the young man made a defining decision to obtain a plan that covered these factors. Several years later, he was unfortunately diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. With his comprehensive plan based on my recommendations, he was able to manage the medical costs to the extent of ensuring the livelihood of his single parent back home.” Gui adds that, “it helps to use hard facts like statistics and data to emphasize your point when explaining the importance of getting financial protection to this young target audience.”
Be more visible and accessible
Gui notes having a strong online presence makes it convenient for fresh graduates to find and reach you. Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and even Tik Tok have worked wonders for professionals across all industries.
“I always ensure my social profiles are up to date and try to post at least a few times a week on all my platforms. I definitely stay away from controversial topics and try to stay within friendly client interests such as slight tweaks to live a healthier life and essential financial tips that many people are unaware of.”
She adds you can also “increase your visibility and accessibility by attending career fairs and other events where fresh graduates are likely to be,” to further provide some other ideas.
By understanding the needs of fresh graduates, providing them with the information and support they need, and by being authentic, genuine and relatable in your interactions with them, financial advisors can efficiently capture this market and build valuable, long-term relationships with them.