Financial Advisors, Are Women Your Target Audience?

How to attract this Target Audience vital for the growth of your financial advisory practice

“Most financial advisers do not have a plan in place to target female clients specifically, but the vast majority would like to add more women in their client roster.”

That’s a conclusion from 774 financial advisors speaking through a July 2015 InvestmentNews survey.

So what does it take to attract “The Biggest Emerging Market Ever?”

I’m a heavy-duty collector of ideas and tactics valuable for advisors, especially ones relevant to adding more women clients to your roster. Here are tools and a plan relevant to you and the growth of your practice.

A great place to start is with Maribeth Kuzneski’s commonsense:

“The One Key to Working with Women”
by Maribeth Kuzneski

“The reality is that there is no script you can learn that will lead to working with more women in your business.

“To work with women, intelligent professionals, of course, start ONLY with the assumption that they are not alike.

“The one key to working with women is that working with and selling to women is nothing more than learning to understand people as individuals.

“Women are not a niche market — they are more than half of the population.”
by Maribeth Kuzneski at Red Zone Marketing

“We resisted generalizations in the style of men are from Mars, women are from Venus.”

Two consultants from Deloitte, Cathy Benko and Bill Peister, expand on Kuzneski’s insights. (Note below the most frequent mistake they found that male professionals make.)

“Every individual falls somewhere on a spectrum and brings traits associated with both masculinity and femininity to the relationships and tasks of life.

“The more you know about the individual, the less it makes sense to rely on general feelings about a group about which he or she is a part.”

“During training sessions, the failure to establish rapport is the most frequent mistake our male professionals make.

“In most cases, the male team members go directly to the purpose of the meeting and work through their content agenda.

“They may be unaware that the female client sees the meeting as a way to get to know the people she is being asked to trust with her business.

“So the listening challenge is to discover what she wants to achieve and what she feels is the most comfortable way to do so.

“A good place to start is to use the time it takes to get settled [for a meeting] to strike up a conversation and establish rapport.”

from “How Women Decide” in the September 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review

Now let’s focus on science for a few seconds:

“The brain is ‘wired differently’ in men and women”

from one of the largest studies to compare the “connectomes – The comprehensive maps of neural connections in the brain of male and female humans.”

“University of Pennsylvania researchers found striking differences in how men’s and women’s brains are wired.

“Researchers say the differences may explain, for example, why on average men are better at learning and performing single tasks, such as cycling or navigating, while women tend to be better at multitasking and problem-solving in group situations.”

Now it’s time for economics and the stark facts:

How Women Are Different from Men, Financially Speaking
by Stephen Jackson in the “Kirkland Reporter”

“On the path to financial security, it’s important for women to understand what they might be up against, financially speaking.

“Women have longer life expectancies. Women live an average of 4.9 years longer than men. A longer life expectancy presents specific challenges for women.

“Women generally earn less and have fewer savings.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, within most occupational categories, women who work full-time, year-round, earn only 81% (on average) of what men earn.”

And these facts segue into an outspoken plea from Sallie Krawcheck:

“Krawcheck to advisers: ‘Middle-aged white guys’ must help women get raises.”
by Sallie Krawcheck

Speaking at a Moringstar conference, Sallie Krawcheck “described the problem as one that’s ‘so big and so scary and so hairy that we’ve actually stopped talking about it and debating.

“The retirement crisis in this country is a women’s crisis, because of the dramatically high number of women whose savings fall short of their needs.”

She continued, “Reducing the pay gap would go a long way toward solving what she said is a $14 trillion savings gap for retirees in the United States.”
Reported in InvestmentNews

How do women gain peace of mind? Here’s one way:

“Women who have a financial plan feel the most confident and in control financially. They are also more likely to feel at peace with their financial choices.”

“Women of all ages are involved in making financial decisions — and their relationship with money evolves as they move through different life stages and cycles.”
From the Ameriprise “Women and Financial Power(SM) study, June 2014

Those insights are useful for what comes next.

So what does it take to attract “The Biggest Emerging Market Ever?”

Simply, it takes a plan.

Without a plan you aren’t the practice you could be.

With a plan you don’t need to guess. You don’t need to grab hold of one strategy and hope it works out.

Here’s the next step for you.

Employ your own precisely tailored “Growth Accelerator!”

What’s that? Simply, that’s your marketing plan.

Start here: Draw a sharp portrait of your Ideal Target Audience with concrete details.

You won’t select women, but a more specific audience that suits your strengths such as recent widows, professional women (perhaps women attorneys), or women moving into divorce or newly divorced.

You want to grasp exactly what they want from you.

“The aim of marketing,” Peter Drucker said, “is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him [or her] and sells itself.”

All the steps in your marketing plan are spelled out HERE:

If you would like to benefit from the experience of one woman,
a mother, a widow, an author, a lover of a straightforward planning process, a non-stop student of marketing recently certified as a “Client Acquisition Specialist,” a fervent preservationist who looks to the future, and a specialist in helping financial advisors break through to their next level,

I invite you to give me a call at 215.753.2620. Or send an email to
Yours for a flow of qualified prospects for your sustained growth,

Shirley Hanson
Co-Author, “Marketing Power for Financial Advisors”

About Shirley Hanson

Co-Author "Marketing Power for Financial Advisors"
In 1991 Shirley Hanson co-founded the Hanson Marketing Group, a direct marketing firm. Since 2005 she has focused her work on helping financial advisors take advantage of the same strategies and tactics that high-growth firms count on year after year. Advisors are able to attract more of their ideal clients, reach a Category of One, and raise their production. She collaborates with advisors to unlock their vision for their practice sooner with less hassle.

Contact Shirley
Phone: 215-753-2620 | Fax: 215-754-4165
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