In the new era of women and millennials, Financial Advisors must embrace a new model that is more personal, makes the advisor more approachable, and inspires and motivates potential clients to act.
Selling skills still have their place, but manipulative, high pressure tactics are out. The instant a woman feels the sale is more important than her needs, she’s out, and chances of reestablishing a positive image in her mind are nearly impossible.
Future success depends on the advisor’s ability to motivate prospective clients to take the next step, open an account and take action with you.
When we hear “motivation,” most of us immediately think of children or sports. We spend a great deal of time, energy, and thought on how to motivate our children and how to motivate athletes to do what can often seem challenging and uncomfortable.
The same holds true in getting individuals, especially women, to take action on their financial life.
To motivate women, advisors must incorporate three core components to maximize their effectiveness with women.
- Let them FEEL it: Women are very sensitive to feelings and emotions thus, they are known for being great nurturers. This is one of their greatest assets, yet the financial industry continues to ignore it. Accepting this unique quality in a woman can help you build a stronger relationship with women and escalate the process of moving forward.
For many women, it’s about feeling something, whether that be fear, jealousy, hurt, or happiness. It’s not about simply knowledge or statistics, it’s not about the intellectual aspects of a recommendation. It’s about the feeling people experience when they consider a change. Remember, most people are naturally resistant to change. For many, change will only occur when the feelings associated with the change become less than the emotions attached to NOT changing.
As you spend time learning about the woman, make sure you ask open-ended questions that address the emotions they feel: fear of the future, running out of money, the discomfort of not knowing, or feelings of being overwhelmed and disorganized. Once you understand the underlying emotions, you can present your value by addressing those emotions using real stories to make stronger connections, which leads me to my next component.
- Use STORIES – Real stories, whether your own or anonymous examples of actual client experiences; these emit emotions. One of the reasons Abraham Lincoln was such a good President was because he was a great storyteller. Many leadership books stress the importance of stories because stories emphasize WHY we do what we do. It allows individuals to feel connected to recognize that they are not alone in their life experiences and challenges.
Stories play a vital role in building stronger relationships, communicating important concepts, and highlighting needs and solutions, all of which are trigger points for potential clients.
When sharing client stories, it’s critical to not just state the facts or the issues they were experiencing, but to express the emotions the subject was feeling BEFORE they started working with you and AFTER they experienced your service and guidance.
“When Mary was referred to me, she was feeling overwhelmed, fearful about her future, and totally disorganized… Today, Mary feels more in control, she looks forward to meeting and discussing her investments, and she feels more optimistic about her future.”
But there is no better story than your own story. Being able to share your “Why you care about women” personal story establishes a more intimate tone to the whole meeting. When women really believe you care, the trust factor escalates dramatically, making the process of motivating women 10x easier.
- Progress is Key – A feeling of progress is especially important for women. With constant demands on their time and energy, women want to know that the next step they take will move them forward and accomplish something. The lure of a “free consultation” for many women cultivates more reservations than an invitation. Without understanding what will happen during this next step and, more importantly, what they will walk away with, you may have difficulty getting women to commit and stick to it.
Package the next step, list what will happen and what will be accomplished during the meeting, whether they choose to work with you or not. Put boundaries on it, so they feel comfortable that they won’t feel trapped in a meeting that never ends. This doesn’t mean giving away valuable tools and recommendations. It can simply be about gaining clarity on the risks, new opportunities for growth, and strategies for income or safety. These are the issues that are the emotional triggers.
Motivation is a compelling concept; as you hone your skills and stay true to who you are, the impact can be transformational.