Excuse me while I climb up on my favorite soapbox.
I can’t help myself. Dailyworth posed a question that got me all worked up.
What would you tell the financial industry about how, specifically, they can better serve women?
Oh boy. So much to tell. So little space.
But I’d start with this: Women are not men!
Obvious, right? But clearly, the financial industry hasn’t gotten that memo.
I’m a big fan of financial professionals. I’ve had the same advisor for 11 years (after going through nine others that didn’t get the memo either). I even wrote a booklet, “Finding a Financial Advisor You Can Trust.”
Sadly, the bulk of advisors (I’m including both sexes here) still live in the dark ages when it comes to female clients.
So, inspired by DailyWorth, here are my suggestion for how the financial industry can shape up and better serve women. I call it:
What Women Wish You Knew Before They Walk into Your Office, Part I
1. Women are all about relationships. Men are transaction oriented. Men communicate to obtain info, establish status, and show independence. Women are ‘other’ oriented. Women communicate to create relationships and make connections. So when dealing with women, think in terms of ‘connecting with’ rather than ‘selling to.’
2. Inspire rather than frighten. The industry seems to think the best way to motivate women is with scary statistics and worst case scenarios. But fear produces paralysis in most women. If you want to motivate a woman, speak to what inspires her, NOT what scares her. While men define success as being in control, women define success is how well they can help others (it’s that relationship thing!). So, instead of filling her with fear, show her how informed investing allows her to help people she loves and causes she’s passionate about.
More pointers coming in Part II. Meanwhile, feel free to send this list to any advisor you know. You’ll be doing them a big favor.