Note to Financial Advisors: 5 Powerful Insights into How Women Think

I truly believe the best way for women to create wealth is by working with financial professionals. But, according to the Wall Street Journal, “fewer than one in five women currently has an advisor.”

Why? Because women can’t find anyone who understands them.

Advisors are talking to women just like they do men.  Big mistake.  True, money knows no gender. Women, however, are very different from men. Yet the financial world is based on the male model of communication.

Here are 5 powerful insights into how women think:

1) Women are all about relationships. Women are ‘other’ oriented; men are transaction oriented. Women communicate to create relationships and make connections. Men communicate to obtain information, establish status, and show independence.  These are 2 very different conversations.  The message women want to hear: “I care about you. I understand you. I’m here to support you.” How? Ask lots of questions about her goals, dreams, time frames, life style, opinions, her life in general. Listen more than talk. Find out what she needs, not what you think she needs.

2) Women can be very emotional when it comes to money. But in the financial world, conversations about emotions are considered taboo, too touchy-feely, not part of the financial planning process.  Really big mistake. You don’t need a degree in psychology. But you do need to invite her to discuss her fears, her beliefs and her family’s attitudes toward money. Often by simply listening her issues, addressing her qualms while explaining her options can be enough to get her past her emotional blocks.

3) Women want to be educated. Men like to learn through trial and error. Women like to be taught. In a study by Deloitte Touche,  90% of the women expected their financial advisor to educate them. They even rated service, advice and education far ahead of performance.  What’s one of the best ways to educate women? Seminars. Why?  According to an Emory University study, “the pleasure and reward centers of their brain light up if they can work towards their financial goals in a cooperative way with other women.”

4) Women define success differently than men. Men define success as being in control; women as how well they can help others. The financial media, and the industry itself, seem to believe that scary statistics, alarming statements, and worse case scenarios will actually motivate women.  But clearly fear tactics haven’t worked. Instead, talk to her about how investing allows her to experience the joys of philanthropy, the thrill of leaving a legacy, the satisfaction of helping people she loves and causes she’s passionate about.

5) Women clients tend to be more time consuming, especially at the beginning. Women expect more service, ask more questions. But she’ll be your client for life if she knows you are there for her, as her partner, a part of her team, an advisor she can trust. In my 1st appointment with Eileen, my long time advisor, she told me: “My job is to see your needs are met. It’ll take time but I need to find about your goals and level of risk.” And she did. Then she gave me choices. “I see myself in partnership with you. Here are your choices. Let’s discuss each of them and figure out what is best for you.”

I participated in a tele-seminar discussing these very points at length. I believe you’ll find it exciting and informative. Click here to listen.

Filed under: Women & Wealth

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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