There is no argument that women are in control.
Women control more than half of the wealth in the U.S. and research shows they will control $22 trillion in assets by 2020.
What percentage of your business is women? If you haven’t been actively marketing to and working with female clients, the time is now, because not only does she control the wealth but she also is an extremely powerful promoter of your business.
She is Fiercely Loyal
Women are more loyal than men to their financial advisors. What’s more, women are more loyal to their advisors than to the advisor’s firm they do business with. In other words, she is more likely to stay with you rather than the firm you work for if you decide to make a move. How about that for commitment?
Research shows 45 percent of women clients will move their assets and relationship with their financial advisor if the advisor leaves his or her current firm.
She Has an Extensive Network
When women make a buying decision or decide to invest with you, they typically like to gather a lot of information from many sources. They ask a lot of questions to become comfortable with a buying decision and generally want to take their time to consider.
What is most important to understand is that when she’s taking her time to make a decision, she is consulting with her friends and family members, who ultimately are her circle of trust. Once she has decided to do business with you and you have gained her trust, she may invite you into that coveted circle. So patience is key as her advisor. Don’t rush her.
Women can also be viral marketers of your business. She will positively promote you to her extensive network by becoming their trusted advisor. However, there is also a flipside to this. If she has a negative experience with you, she may also negatively market you as well.
She Will Refer you
Going hand-in-hand with positively promoting your business, she will also refer you.
Not only are women more loyal than men, but they will also refer you far more to their network as well.
Consider this data. Over a lifetime, a woman makes an average of 26 referrals to her financial advisor, while the typical male client only averages 11 referrals.
So how do you gain her trust and build loyalty when research from Boston Consulting Group indicates women are more dissatisfied with the financial services industry than any other industry?
Treat her as an equal. Work to stay on an equal plane. Many women clients feel they are talked down to in the financial services industry compared to male clients. She is an equal partner in your relationship.
Remember to collaborate with her to create the best recommendations for her. This should be an equal give-and-take initiative to find solutions and set goals.
Remind her that your goal is to create an excellent partnership with her. Ask her what is most important to her as you work together toward her financial goals and dreams.
Also be sure to explain to her what she can expect from you in terms of your time and service. Don’t promise things that you can’t deliver, and if you mess up, acknowledge the misstep immediately. It goes without saying that taking accountability for your mistakes goes a long way to both build and preserve trust in any client relationship.
Women want to be heard. Listen to her. Show genuine interest when she is speaking. Practice reflective listening by summarizing and reflecting back what you heard her say to you. This helps clarify the information you need to gather, while crystallizing her financial goals.
Reflective listening helps you both give and get necessary information, while coming to mutual conclusions. With her permission, consider taking notes while she’s talking to gather the information you need if this helps you.
Also, don’t discount the power of strong nonverbal communication with your female clients and prospects. Head nodding, eye contact and body language are very important. After all, psychology tells us that up to 90 percent of communication is nonverbal in nature.
Keep in mind it is also important to let feelings be part of your communication. Gasp! Yes, you read that right – feelings. While feelings may make you feel uncomfortable, ignoring feelings and emotions won’t make them go away. Talking about money and finances as it relates to one’s financial future can without a doubt be an emotional topic. Relating to her, empathizing and making her feel comfortable is critical.
Once you let feelings be part of your communication, it strengthens your relationship on all levels. It also shows you are genuinely listening and builds your connection.
The Bottom Line
Women will continue to be in control. As a matter of fact, they are expected to inherit 70 percent of the $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfer over the next 35 years.
While gaining her trust may take some effort, every effort is worth the payoff of her loyalty and her power to promote you and your services.