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Women in the RIA Space: How to Attract More Female Clients

Nov 27, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Women in the RIA Space: How to Attract More Female Clients to Your Practice

Note: This is Part 2 of a series on Women in the RIA Space. You can access Part 1 here: Women in the RIA Space: How to Attract and Recruit More Women to Your Practice and Retain Them

According to a recent BMO Wealth Institute Study, women now control 51% of personal wealth.*

Financial advisers who are interested in broadening their client base to include more female clients might be noticing other advisers and firms experimenting with a variety of women-centric marketing approaches, but not all these tactics and techniques are necessarily worthy of duplicating.

Let’s look at what we think are some best practices for advisors to follow when reaching out to female clients:  

Tip #1) Honor Their Individuality

Be wary of stereotyping. As we stated in Part 1 of this series, while it’s true that some women seeking financial advice might prefer to work with female advisers, many women have excellent rapport with male advisers and might prefer to get their financial advice from a man.  A woman might also feel that her investment needs are very different from a man’s or she might believe their needs to be exactly same.

 Making sweeping generalities and assumptions about what “all” women want or what any specific gender, race or orientation are looking for when it comes to financial investing will likely only serve to alienate, rather than attract this demographic. Rather than pre-packaging gender-specific advice, consider focusing on advice packages which may cater to broader demographic pools such as environmentally conscious or socially conscious investment opportunities.

Tip #2) Ask, Listen and Adapt

If you’ve been relying for many years on the same talking points when promoting your financial adviser services, you might want to start practicing a new elevator pitch. Many financial advisers who’ve historically tried to sell the value of their services by explaining how they can help a client build wealth, retire lavishly and “win” at the investment game could discover that these ideas and goals may not resonate as well with female clients. Perhaps the woman you’re speaking to are more relationship-oriented and concerned about how their financial decisions will affect their loved ones. Perhaps they’re more worried about becoming a burden or losing their independence than amassing a great deal of wealth. They might also be more focused on whether their investments support the causes important to them or not.

Tip #3) Be Empathetic to Their Unique Challenges and Provide Customized Solutions

Regardless of whether a woman feels that her gender plays any role in how she invests her money or not, we believe it’s a good idea for a financial adviser to understand the unique challenges many women face when saving for retirement. For instance, does she have gaps in her employment due to caring for a child or parent? Does she have less to invest than a male peer because she’s been paid a lower salary than her male peers? Is she prepared in the event she outlives her partner and/or needs long term care in the future?

Listening without assumption and then adapting your financial advice to the needs and concerns of the individual, rather than the demographic, could potentially go a long way toward engendering trust with new female clients.