How to engage next-generation clients

How to engage next-generation clients

As the saying goes, you can’t stop the hands of time. And time passing has given rise to one of the greatest demographic shifts our country has ever seen. The mighty Baby Boomer population, which at its height was nearly 80 million strong, is starting to sunset, with roughly 10,000 reaching the age of 65 every day and the entire group, born from 1946 to 1964, reaching 65 by 2030—less than 13 years from today.

This entrepreneurial group still maintains much of the power and money in this country, but that is ever so slightly shifting every day, with Generation X stepping up into leadership and Millennials now the largest group in our workforce. Yet what troubles me is that I still don’t see many firm leaders with active strategies for managing this monumental shift within their own client communities.

Sure, more and more firm leaders are dialed in to next-generation talent management strategies, which are critical. But equally critical is this question: What are you doing to engage your next-generation clients? In this article, we’ll explore six first steps to position your firm to keep your corporate clients as they transition their businesses, and find new individual clients as your existing clients age out.

Before we explore these next-gen client engagement strategies, though, let’s take a minute to explore seven common next-gen motivators, as several will point to the first actions to take.

As a general rule, keeping in mind that all individuals are different, your next-gen clients are more likely to value:

Now, let’s explore six suggested first steps to begin appealing to a number of these next-gen motivators:

As you embrace your next-gen client engagement strategies, don’t forget about your traditional clients. Understand and honor their preferences, too. Some will want to keep things the way they are now. Others will readily embrace new approaches. Provide options and transition support as you drive change so your traditional and next-gen clients both feel valued.  

Succession is a top strategic priority for most firms, but many remain inwardly focused while transition in their client community is already happening. Don’t make this mistake. Take steps to make your firm ready today for next-gen clients.

Jennifer Wilson is a partner and co-founder of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC, a leadership and management consulting and coaching firm that helps leaders achieve success. Learn more about the company and its services at

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