Retaining Your Female Clients
No one wants to hear these words — “You’re fired!” — but you are more likely to hear them when one of your married clients divorces or becomes a widow. According to the guide “Women Are Not a ‘Niche’ Market,” 70% of women fire their current male financial advisor after the husband dies, and 90% of those women hire a female advisor. Considering that women control nearly $20 trillion in consumer spending globally and 30% of global wealth, this is a segment you can’t afford to lose.
But it’s not all bad news. Women are often very receptive to receiving advice from a financial professional. And they can become loyal clients once the professional’s credibility has been established. Regardless of your gender, there are steps you can take to retain women clients and be the financial advisor they seek, and you can start that process now.
Treat Women as Equals
If there is something women hate, it’s being invisible. If you are meeting with a couple, make sure you address both parties. Ask each of them questions and allow both to answer. When scheduling client meetings, be sure to ask that both parties attend. Going above and beyond to do this in the early stages of your interactions can pay dividends later.
Zone In on Her Life Stage
A great way to find out which products and services your client might be interested in is first to determine her stage of life. Is the client a single young professional, a married woman with children, a divorced investor, a widow, a caretaker, etc.? Once you establish this baseline, you can begin asking questions to zone in on her specific needs and how they relate to her finances.
Determine Her Goals
Women are seven times more interested in financial peace of mind than in wealth accumulation. However, you shouldn’t make assumptions about what any individual’s goals are before you have the opportunity to meet one-on-one. Both men and women have varying degrees of financial needs, so you should find out what your client’s specific goals are before you start suggesting products and services.
Educate and Empower
Women appreciate the educational viewpoint of a financial professional. They are interested in learning about which products might be appropriate for them, as well as why. They don’t want an advisor to push a product simply because the rate of return is high, and they are less likely to trade frequently in order to “beat the market.” Women are interested in strengthening their financial futures and taking care of the ones they love, not just in accumulating wealth, so your focus should be on helping them achieve these goals. This approach will take more time on your part, but is worth the investment in building the relationship.
Benefit from Referrals
We all know how important referrals are to your business, so it’s a no-brainer that you want your female clients to rave about you! Women tend to share their experiences more openly and more frequently than do men. According to a Spectrem Group survey, “Women also rely far more on the advice of friends and family members when making investment decisions.” If you’ve done a stellar job in assisting your client with her financial needs, you will more than likely receive some great referrals! Integrate this step into the process once you have built rapport with your client and earned her trust.
Just remember, although women may have different needs and a different thought process, they don’t want to be treated differently simply because they are women. You may need to tweak your approach to cater to their sensibilities, but this shouldn’t be an obvious shift from a “male” pitch to a “female” pitch. Try using the above methods to retain your female clientele, and you should be pleasantly surprised with your results.
The women’s market is rapidly changing. By targeting this niche area, you can generate new business and capture your share of the lucrative $1 trillion women’s market. Broadridge Advisor Solutions offers materials catering to women’s unique needs. One of our FINRA-reviewed seminar marketing systems, Taking Control, is specifically designed to promote you and your financial practice to women. This turnkey system provides the materials you need to deliver dynamic financial presentations to public and corporate audiences as well as educational institutions, trade groups, and civic organizations that serve women.