Not long ago, I responded to the DailyWorth question: What would you tell the financial industry about how, specifically, they can better serve women?
And, Lord knows, they sure do need help serving women. Smart Money reports that over 70% of women feel under served and dissatisfied with the financial-planning services they receive.
So listen up, all you financial pros. I offered 2 pointers in the first part of this blog. Here are 4 more.
What Women Wish You Knew Before They Walk into Your Office, Part II
1. Educate her. While men prefer to learn through trial and error, women want to be taught. A study by Deloitte & Touche found that 90% of women expected their advisor to provide education and guidance rather than “sell them on effective investment practices.” And never assume just because a woman wears a designer suit or has an executive title, she’s savvy with her own money.
2. Think seminars. Women enjoy seminars because they get to gather in groups, talk among themselves, network, exchange views, learn they’re not alone. But make sure the seminar you’re offering is really designed for women and not just a generic clone. Women have distinct issues around money, different from men, due to their upbringing, cultural conditioning, and emotional blocks. Address, don’t avoid, those issues. (Shameless plug: I offer two turn-key seminars designed specifically for women to be given by financial advisors.)
3. Show respect. Treat women as intelligent adults. I’m aghast at how many advisors still tend to patronize women, address only the husband, or speak ‘financialese’. Being treated with dignity is a big deal for women. We do not want to be sold to or pressured in any way. We want to feel listened to, understood, given choices and time to make our decisions. When we say “I’ll think about it” it doesn’t mean ‘no’…it usually means we’re going to kick around the ideas with others, which is what we do!
4. Address her emotions. This is a tough one for advisors, to whom talk of emotions is too touchy feely. But like it or not, money is a highly emotional topic for most women. It’s been our forbidden fruit. You don’t have to be a shrink (though many advisors now partner with therapists or coaches). Ask her questions, allow her to talk about her fear, listen to her feelings, slowly educate her, and focus on inspiring rather than scaring her.
This is, by no means, a definitive list. What you would add? Tell me in the comments below. And I’ll pass them on to the wonderful folks at Daily Worth.
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