Throughout my career in finance, I’ve paved my own way — I’ve been a “pioneer” of sorts in the financial service industry, yet I’ve never conceded to the preconceived stereotypes of women in the industry.
I always believed I could make the same income (if not more!) as my male counterparts — because of merit and ability, not gender.
All things considered, I decided some prospecting methods simply wouldn’t work for me. For example, golf. The oh-so-popular prospecting method for the majority of men did not jive with me.
Sure, I thought about it — even tried my hand at a couple of rounds, but ultimately, it wasn’t for me and definitely wasn’t going to land me any lucrative clients. Here’s why:
I tell you this personal anecdote to remind you of an exceptionally important tip: always be yourself and don’t compromise for the sake of the comfort of others.
As a financial advisor, you will inevitably work with a host of different clients: male, female and couples. Each client or couple requires the financial advisor to maintain a different mindset, to be successful.
The psychology of working with women is especially interesting. Here are a few guidelines to help you better understand woman and how to serve their needs as a client.
To be an effective advisor for a woman, you must be prepared to listen to her story really. What brought her to her current position in life?
Active listening is especially important to women — asking thoughtful questions, maintaining eye contact and giving appropriate body language cues.
Even on a chemical level, the female brain gets a sort of “boost” from sharing their stories and experiences. The best you can do as an advisor is put yourself in her shoes.
If you can find a similarity or commonality between yourself and your female client, capitalize on it! The reason being, if a woman can see a bit of herself in you, she is more apt to connect with and trust you.
Women are more likely to invite personal ties into a business relationship than men.
By nature, women are comfortable with vulnerability. They communicate their feelings and use “feeling” words.
As an advisor, it’s important to show empathy, listen and be a trusted confidant. Where most men connect through activities (such as golf), most women connect through deep, meaningful conversation.
Men are less keen on seeking guidance from others and vice-versa. However, women are not limited by this sort of pride and welcome opportunities to seek guidance and support.
In the same vein, women like to help others — as an advisor, it’s important to express to your female client her value to you and your team. A woman likes nothing less than the feeling of being indispensable.
Including body language and the most minute details of an interaction. As an advisor, pay special attention to how your facial expressions and body language are communicating with your female client.
What’s more, a small gesture, such as a handwritten thank you note after a meeting can speak volumes, more so than “shooting” a quick email. It could be the difference between keeping and losing a client.
Women attribute a lot of value to their relationships — personal and professional. As such, once a trusting, meaningful relationship has been established, they will work hard to maintain it.
The greatest benefit of a loyal female client is they are more likely than men to refer friends, family and peers to you.
Next time you’re working with a female client remember these six guidelines:
In my book, “Seven Figure Firm: How to Build a Financial Services Business that Grows Itself,” I go even more in-depth to the psychology of working with men, women, couples and so on.