There is very little about the financial services business that is designed to appeal to women. Creating a more female friendly practice starts with more than just your investment expertise, what she experiences and the environment you create is equally important to the woman.
I was talking with a friend today about my pending divorce from John. She asked if we both had life insurance and I wasn’t even sure. She then asked about our assets and how they will be split. I told her I wasn’t even sure how much we had anymore, John and our advisor have been managing things forever, I’ve really lost track. She acted so alarmed like “What’s the matter with you.” Like I have the time? And I never understood what he was talking about anyway. In most of our meetings John and our advisor just talked about their favorite sports team, it just seemed such a waste of my time. Maybe I should have stayed involved, if I had perhaps now I wouldn’t be feeling so insecure. I don’t even know who to talk to, obviously our Advisor will be on John’s side (not that I would stay with him anyway). So now what do I do. Yuck I hate this feeling of being out of control. Feeling scared…
I met with a new advisor today that my friend referred me to, she was LOVELY. What a different feeling. Her office was so beautiful I felt so relaxed and she took so much time to talk with me and she won’t even get paid until I transfer my money to her!! Ohhhh I can’t tell you what a great experience this was, why didn’t we find her years ago. She explained everything in a way I totally understood, I already feel better. She was amazing and all she did was talk with me. (I loved that we NEVER talked about sports) Feeling more optimistic…
The divorce isn’t final yet but I’m feeling so much better. I met with my new advisor again today and she gave me a new red binder to help me get organized. She even gave me a beautiful journal to write all my money questions in, I’m supposed to bring it to each of our meetings and her workshops, I love this. My own money diary!!! In fact we reviewed my financial plan today and made some changes I really like, it’s nice to know you are being heard. I need to get my Mother to meet with her, in fact maybe my sister too. That other guy was such a bore. Feeling excited again!
What Every Financial Advisors Should Understand:
1. Create a Female Friendly Environment; Remember that the business world was designed by men, not exactly the look and feel that a woman would choose. If you want her to become more engaged and more comfortable you must start softening the look and feel of your office;
• Consider repainting your office in softer tones
• Incorporate art work that might inspire conversation
• Host your meetings around a coffee table not across a desk
• Instead of black binders and boring portfolios add some color that would appeal to women
• Consider giving the woman a special journal putting her in charge of writing questions they may have for future meetings.
2. Inspire Feedback; when presenting the financial plan or even reviewing their progress or plan ask the woman open ended questions to draw her out;
• What do you like about this plan?
• What do you not like?
• If you could change one thing what would it be?
• What do you feel the best about after reviewing your performance?
• What would you like to change?