The statistics on women and wealth in our country provide a compelling reason for incorporating women-specific marketing and services into your financial services practice.
In addition to the story the numbers tell, advisors should consider the fact that many women outlive their husbands, and may spend a significant portion of their lives as the head of their household. Also, in the event of their husband’s death, an estimated 70% leave their male advisors and 90% of those hire a female advisor instead. Something very noteworthy as well, women refer advisors at a rate of 4-to-1 as compared to men.
- Women control over $18 trillion in consumer spending, hold approximately 30% of global wealth, and are the sole head of 32% of U.S. households;
- 48% of the millionaires in the U.S. are women;
- Women control 51.3% of personal wealth assets and 60% are the sole decision-maker in advisor relationships;
- Women-controlled assets are expected to grow by 8% through 2014;
- Women refer advisors at a rate of 4-to-1 as compared to men.[i]
So what is the best way to bring in more women as clients? Overall, when tailoring an approach to women, don’t try to target all women with the same messaging or services. Marketing to women is about understanding and addressing their specific needs – not just focusing on the ways in which they differ from men.
With that in mind, there are some general principles that can serve as a good start in developing your approach with attracting and retaining female clients:
Focus on Building Relationships and Trust:
As shown by the referral statistic above, women typically rely heavily on their networks and relationships, so traditional advertising and/or a sales or product based approach is less effective. Most advisors find that more subtle communications and promotions work well since women will share information and recommendations via word-of-mouth. Build the relationship first, then offer value with your expertise and ability to help them address their financial concerns.
Offer Valuable Information:
Women are often looking for education and advice. They are typically very open to learning about financial planning, and see opportunities to learn more as a benefit. Educational seminars are more successful when they are positioned towards preparing for the unexpected, rather than addressing generic “women’s issues.” Women are more moved by big picture, holistic financial solutions that produce long-term benefits in quality of life and security. They don’t respond nearly as well to product-specific benefits.
Women are good at doing research and shopping around before making a big commitment, so promoting the continued service they will receive when working with you will go a long way toward them feeling like there’s more of a guarantee that they’ll be getting the right thing.
Connect With Events:
Since there is emphasis on relationship building, unique and memorable events are a very effective way to connect with female prospects, cultivate a feeling of partnership with current clients and generate goodwill with their invited friends and referrals. Check with your marketing consultant to identify and develop opportunities in your area and geared to the preferences of your target group.
There are a number of ideas and options for events well suited to the objective of bringing together and getting in front of the women you hope to work with.
More Personal, Less General:
It’s a mistake to assume the same messages will resonate with all women. Individual women have varied needs, living situations and goals. Women want their advisors to listen to them and tailor services to their specific situation. What stage of life is she at? How can your expertise make her life easier?
There’s a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself by taking note of preferences and ways to personalize that are specific to your individual female clients. Use distinct messages letting them know that they can be confident that you have listened to even the smallest concern or piece of information.
Let Them Know The Benefits:
Make it easy for them to understand what you are going to do for them. How will you help them or make their life easier? The average woman is mentally juggling career, family and self-care decisions at any given moment. How will working with you ease that burden? There are four service areas where women find value:
- Household administration: Help busy professional women manage family finances and automate regular administrative tasks and payments.
- Financial education: Present opportunities (such as seminars) in which women can learn more about financial planning, investing, budgeting, and retirement planning.
- Financial advice: Develop your understanding of the issues that women face in financial planning and become the respectful, caring advisor that listens and treats women as equal partners.
- Children’s services: Offer services designed to protect children from trouble while preparing them to manage their future finances.
Again, while it’s a good start to begin looking at the issues that may apply to women overall, you will go much farther if you really try to find out what motivates a certain niche or individual within the larger demographic. Though there are similarities, women are in different situations, based on their marital status, family structure and age, and are therefore looking for someone who recognizes their needs and responds with customized solutions.
Ask your Sales or Marketing Consultant about our pre-created marketing materials to help you better communicate with your female audiences.