“How do I overcome the fact that I’m young in the eyes of my customer?”

This is a question that’s asked of me repeatedly. It’s a question I hear from young professionals across all areas of an organization and it isn’t a question that’s exclusive to family-owned or privately-held businesses.

I distinctly remember asking this question myself as a young professional wanting to achieve and advance beyond my “entry level” responsibilities.

Here’s a starting point to working through this question; it involves yet another question. When is young no longer young? Think about it but don’t get lost in some big philosophical answer. I’ll ask it a different way. What’s the age at which someone becomes credible and is viewed as something other than young?

These questions offer a real case of dynamic tension. On one hand, there are many people who want to defy age and retain youth. On the other hand, there are many people who want to accelerate credibility based on a coming of age.

Here are three thoughts to help expand your awareness and advance your insight into overcoming the age objection.


1. Control what you can control.


You can’t control how old you are. Age is what age is and you didn’t get to pick the year you were born. You can’t change it. You can only change the perception of what it means in the customer’s mind.

#Thoughtstarter – Overcoming the objection of young in the mind of your client begins with overcoming the objection of being young in your own mind first. Demonstrate that age as an advantage regardless of what it is.


2. Solving problems for your customer, client or company handles the age objection every time.


Knowledge and the application of that knowledge to solving a problem is the true differentiator, not age.

#Thoughtstarter – Look for opportunities to demonstrate and apply your knowledge in solving a complex problem, resolving an issue or contributing in a way that is “beyond your years.”


3. Performance has a way of speaking louder than age.

The individual who has brought increased awareness to my insurance needs and requirements, both personally and professionally, is under the age of 30. He is exceptional at defining relationships with his clients. While he doesn’t possess all knowledge individually, he has an outstanding team of people that support him. His credibility and my trust in him are without question. He is the quarterback. His emphasis is on “calling the plays” that demonstrate his performance individually and the performance of his agency collectively. What’s more, his performance has earned the title of My Insurance Quarterback even though he lives in the state of Kansas. You can meet him here.

At the same time, you may want to check out one of the bright young minds in the health benefits space. She is a colleague to My Insurance Quarterback and you can meet her here.

#Thoughtstarter – Focus on performance and professionalism and the objection of age, like so many other objections, tend to fade away in the mind of your customer and in your mind as well.

Final Thought: I know plenty of people, younger and older, who don’t possess or demonstrate the knowledge necessary to overcome the objection of age in the mind of their client or customer. The qualities of being trusted, convincing, credible and believable aren’t dependent on age. They are dependent on the commitment of the professional, regardless of age, to expand their awareness—it’s what leads to the insights that allow for better decisions and the achievement of better outcomes.

Think Beyond Boundaries,
Brent

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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