What does it take to win Gen X and Gen Y clients?

RisingTide, a financial service business in Melbourne’s Docklands, has won numerous awards for its bespoke Gen X and Y service, and was a finalist in the Telstra Small Business Awards.

But the topic on everyone's lips is RisingTide's well-stocked bar, complete with beer taps, located right where you'd expect the reception area to be.

“Everyone seems to know about the bar,” laughs Founder and Managing Director Chris Browne.

Instead, the bar's purpose is to ensure clients enjoy their first taste of financial advice.

Some are nervous and others, such as tradies who need an income protection policy, don't even want to be there. The bar has a way of breaking down barriers.

“The great thing about putting people at ease is you can have a meaningful conversation because people talk more openly,” Browne says.

More than just a bar

Of course, you can't just run a successful financial advice firm from the back of a bar.

Here are three of RisingTide’s top three techniques to tap into the Gen X and Y market:

Mind-mapping “We keep asking our clients and prospective clients questions until we figure out what makes them tick,” Browne says.

The aspirational goals mapped through this process are then displayed on a plasma TV each time the client meets with their team.

“We use that as an anchor and a reference point for the whole time you're a partner of RisingTide. It's hugely motivating because you can see how you're tracking against your goals.”

Tracking software “Gen X and Y are really tech savvy so we integrate tech throughout our advice process,” says Browne.

RisingTide uses client engagement and tracking software such as myprosperity and clients can use their phones to check incomings and outgoings as well as assets and liabilities.

“There's also a portal so that we can monitor their progress and pick up whether habits, even gambling for example, are becoming an issue before they become problematic.”

Social events RisingTide holds events to “connect our clients with other members of our tribe”, says Browne.

“Last year we held a family event with a fireworks display, magician and face painting for the young ones, and beers and finger food for the parents.”

“It was hugely appreciated because a lot of our clients are cash poor due to significant mortgage repayments and school fees.”

Why choose Gen X and Y clients?

The main reason RisingTide focuses solely on the younger demographics, says Browne, is because “we are Gen Y and X ourselves, so we get the financial challenges they are facing, like getting into the skyrocketing Australian property market”.

The other reason is the huge need for advice in this sector, because financial assets held by Gen Y and Gen X will jump from 36 per cent in 2010 to 70 per cent in 2030, according to KPMG.

“We're trying to partner with clients at the start of their financial journey. I think X and Ys are the rising tide of Australia,” he says.

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Important: This article has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial or taxation situation or needs of any particular individual. Before acting on the information, you should consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. Any information used in this article is for illustrative purposes only. RisingTide is an external entity that is not a member of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group of Companies (the Group) and the content or any view expressed by RisingTide and its employees does not represent an endorsement, recommendation, guarantee or advice in regard to any matter. CBA, nor members of the Group accept any liability for losses or damage arising from any reliance on external parties their products, services and material.