I stood in front of a room filled with 100 female advisors, they were attractive, smart, qualified and dedicated to their career. I was reminded how far women had come in the financial industry. These women (most younger than I) were all hired because of their skills, qualifications and ability… as for me I was hired because the industry was forced to hire women.
Due to a class action suit in the 90s Smith Barney was mandated by the courts that 25% of all new financial advisors hired must be women, their punishment my opportunity. Now don’t get me wrong, I had the skills, knowledge and ability, which landed me in the top quintile of Smith Barney advisors but that was NOT why I was hired.
How the industry has changed…Today financial firms are actively trying to recruit women not because they are forced to but because they have since learned the impact women have on their bottom line. Over the past 20 years women advisors have proven their ability to add value, accumulate assets and drive production using a fresh and unique set of skills that the industry was desperately lacking. Their ability to communicate, develop relationships and perceive situations in a more global and holistic sense were and continue to be instrumental in helping advisors rebuild trust. Women’s ability to develop stronger more loyal relationships allowed them to cast a larger net thereby capturing more assets per household.
So if women are naturally suited to the role of financial advisor why are their production numbers still lagging behind their male counterparts?
There is no doubt that women often place self-imposed roadblocks in their own path to success, just read Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg or Woman Up, by Aimee Cohen. While these issues do pose challenges to women advisors the real culprit in the financial services industry is the training.
Let’s face it the business was built by men, to help male advisors attract male clients. The whole process leverages the strength and talents that men bring to the table, not women. Now don’t misinterpret training with intentions, most men I meet and have the pleasure of working with want to help female advisors succeed and openly share what has worked for them but there lies the rub. Their approach and process is not necessarily effective for women.
Without an alternative strategy or training women had no option but to adapt themselves to this traditional model forcing them to incorporate strategies that are often highly uncomfortable and less than effective for women. Yet even under these challenging circumstances they have still earned the respect and attention of the industry. But consider this:
If women can succeed in an environment that is counterproductive to their talents think what could happen if there was a business model that was designed around their feminine strengths and affinities?
As I write this article I can feel the rumbling of the industry. There is a Femolution Revolution that is creating a shift, forcing a change that can have a positive impact on clients and advisors of both genders. Women clients have learned that they have choices and are demanding more respect and consideration from the industry. Where they were once content to sit idly in a meeting with an advisor today they are expecting to be more engaged asking for more authenticity, personal communication and financial education.
On the other side of Wall Street lies the Female Advisor who is no longer willing to adapt and relinquish her God given talents in order to conform and be accepted. These women are recognizing their real value as women advisors and are pushing back by integrating more of their unique natural talents in their process of building a successful practice. The industry is ripe and ready for a change that will build a new foundation of respectability, professionalism and a higher standard of ethics and profitability.
The new model based on the Female Trifecta is one based on Building Relationships vs Prospecting, Inspiring vs Selling and Motivating vs Closing is appealing to clients and advisors of both genders. This new model integrates the lessons learned from men and their centuries of business experience with the natural strengths and talents of women creating a new approach that focuses more on WHY vs HOW. Why you care about your clients, Why you invest the way you do Why they should become your client. This new approach works from the inside out, allowing you to speak less and say more, an approach that validates what you say is what you mean. An approach that better engages clients, inspires new opportunities and motivates clients and prospects to take action that will benefit their financial future.
This is the new paradigm, the Female Trifecta has inspired the new model and the Femolution Revolution is the driving force that will transform the industry for both genders.
If you like this message and are ready to recruit and train women more effectively, consider our KeyChain Membership, Accelerated and VIP Coaching or perhaps a powerful Keynote presentation for your company.
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