Category Archives: Financial Services

Why Women Make the Best Financial Services Clients

It’s time you start selling to women.

Why Women Make the Best Financial Services ClientsAffluent women are everywhere– 50% of millionaires are women, and they are poised to inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in inter-generational wealth transfer expected over the next 40 years. Women have the money, and they will only get more of it.

But that’s only one (really big!) reason to sell financial services to women. Here are four more:

  • Women are easier to reach. Hardly anyone prospects wealthy women! Who wouldn’t love a target market that faces almost zero competition?
  • She’s very motivated to purchase financial services, both for herself and her family.
  • Women are very loyal clients. Once she selects you, she’ll stick with you. Financial advisors of my experience report that women are much less likely to defect during downturns. Because she was thorough in her financial advisor selection process, she knows her decision has yielded the “Perfect Answer” for her needs.
  • Make her happy, and she will send you way more referrals than her male counterparts. One financial advisor tallied up his referrals and found that, on average, men referred two clients, while women sent him 26 referrals. Wouldn’t you like to multiply your referrals by 13???

To learn more about selling to women, watch some of my Selling Financial Services to Women videos. I’ve put together this super-helpful playlist, sure to provide useful to-dos and to-DON’Ts that help you up your sales game.

Selling to Women: Answer Every Question Thoroughly

Selling to Women: Answer Every Question ThoroughlyDuring the sales process, women have a longer list of wants and are voracious information seekers. So no matter how trivial or irrelevant her question may seem to you, answer it.

Some salespeople think they are helping women customers by keeping conversations focused on what matters– trying to be efficient and maybe even considerate of her time. But if your response to her question is, “Well, that’s really not what’s important here,” you’ve lost the sale and offended the customer.

If she says it’s important– and if she’s talking about it, that’s what she’s saying– it’s important.

Selling to Women Requires You to Understand Your Competition

Selling to Women: Answer Every Question ThoroughlyOne area I’ve heard several women comment on it salesmen’s unwillingness or inability to answer questions on how the product compares to the competition.

When my friend Pam was shopping, she asked one salesman, “Why should I buy this car instead of that competitive make and model?” She took it as a given that anyone doing due diligence on such an expensive purchase would compare several options. In her mind, she was giving the salesperson an opportunity to showcase his product’s advantages. His answer?

“You just can’t compare the two.”
“Why not?” she pressed.
Again, he said, “You just can’t.”

This salesperson lost the sale because he didn’t know his competition as well as she did– and he tried to make her feel dumb for asking a perfectly reasonable question. Interesting sales strategy.

Contrast that experience with the next dealership where they were prepared to answer the same question with details on their product’s advantages compared to the competition– newer engine design, more headroom, slightly better gas mileage, and so on.

To women, research and data are key elements to finding the Perfect Answer. So, please, make sure to answer her questions thoroughly.

[VIDEO] What Women Think about Most Sales Meetings

Women rate the investment industry last in a list of 58 categories. Whoah! There’s a problem here. And it starts with what women think about most sales meetings they have with financial planners. Watch my video to improve your selling to women skills!

Watch the video: What Women Think about Most Sales Meetings

[VIDEO] Why Boomer Women are Game-Changers

Boomer women are the reason there are so many women earning their way into the high-net worth bracket. Boomer women are the most radically different generation of women in history. Really! Watch to see what this means for marketing to women– and especially selling to affluent women.

Watch the video: Why Boomer Women are Game-Changers

Open Your Eyes to the ‘Invisible’ Woman

Women in a world of men are invisible. And knowing this is a great advantage for improving your sales success. Sometimes selling to women is as simple as looking for them.

Selling to Women is Impossible if You Don’t See Them

Open Your Eyes to the 'Invisible' WomanOne of my woman friends, a regional director at a major insurance company, was training a salesman to be an insurance agent. He wasn’t fresh out of school; in fact, this man was mature, confident and fairly seasoned in his profession. During his training, he accompanied her to a networking event– a meeting of the local chamber of commerce. At this meeting, she observed that although 25-30% of the attendees were women, he didn’t talk to any of them.

After the meeting, she said to him, “I was interested to note that you’re meeting and greeting– just not with any of the women.”

His response? “Oh, there were women there?”

She laughed and replied, “Sure, there were. There were 15 or 20 of them.”

Apparently, something in this salesperson’s internal software was registering the women in the room as “background noise.” Whatever the reason, the point is that even face-to-face with physical reality, 25-30% of this networking opportunity was invisible to him. The first step for selling to women is to literally look for women in the places and events you already use for networking.

This advice for selling to women may seem incredibly obvious, but it’s obviously necessary. Open your eyes to the invisible women prospects all around you!

[VIDEO] Women Hate Financial Services. What a Sales Opportunity!

In terms of customer service and satisfaction, women rank financial services dead last in a list of over 50 industries. For those of you in financial services, don’t worry. You are tied for last– with the auto industry! Yikes!

But half of all millionnaires are women, and this market is only growing. What an opportunity for a hero of selling to women!

Watch the video: Women Hate Financial Services. What a Sales Opportunity!

Single Boomer Women, a Marketing Trend

Single Boomer Women, a Marketing TrendMany Boomer women find themselves single in midlife, either by choice or by chance. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, 39% of women aged 50-74 were single.

Before you go feeling sorry for these single Boomer women, you should know that most of them are not leading the stereotypical sad, lonely life you might imagine. These women are PrimeTime Women and are smashing the myths of “old maids” and “little old ladies.” They are enjoying their autonomy while growing their social networks through clubs, communities and interest groups. They finally have time to cultivate the interests they may not have during their youth – and are discovering new activities.

Single Boomer women in the United States are becoming an economic force in their own right. Savvy marketers need to keep in mind that they are the sole decision-makers in a substantial percentage of 50+ households.

Three industries in particular need to step up their game- housing, real estate and financial services. Already, single women own almost twice as many homes as single men. I’m sure you can think of ways to enhance your offerings and marketing to single Boomer women (if you haven’t already?).

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in Banking

In “Banking Made Better: Marketing to Women Case Study,” I discuss the future of marketing banking and financial services to women. To make these concepts clearer, I’m providing contemporary examples of the marketing to women strategies I helped ACTON Marketing develop. Here are online examples of the top three marketing to women approaches in banking today.

5/3 Bank – ‘Curious’ Brand Positioning

Women’s social currency is storytelling and sharing personal details. They are most interested in how banks’ products and services help people in situations like their own. 5/3 Bank’s series of ads focuses on people’s goals and dreams and shows the bank as a partner in consumers’ lives. They leave explanation of the details to personal conversations with the bank’s employees or further research on the website.

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in Banking

Styling itself as “The Curious Bank,” 5/3 Bank assures consumers that they want to learn about you, your goals and what’s important in your life.

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in Banking

Huntington Bank – Welcoming, Transparent and Friendly

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in BankingWomen are people-powered but are also savvy consumers. Huntington Bank honors these traits through a friendly, transparent approach with their tagline “Welcome” and product “Asterisk-Free Checking.” Instead of offering several competing checking accounts, Huntington focuses on one account that is:

“Free to open. Free to maintain. Free from minimum balance requirements. Free from monthly maintenance fees. And most importantly, free from asterisks.”

For women, that also means free from pouring over fine print and comparing details with Huntington’s competitors in search of the Perfect Answer.

Bank of America – Doing Good

Polishing your corporate halo is an excellent way to appeal to women. Right on Bank of America’s home page, they tastefully tout their “Student Leadership Program,” described as:

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in Banking

“Our Student Leaders® program connects young leaders with employment that helps to give them the necessary tools and resources they need to advance. Through the Student Leaders® program, we recognize high school juniors and seniors who step outside of the classroom to contribute service in their own communities and beyond. Student Leaders® are awarded paid summer internships with local nonprofit organizations and participate in a Student Leadership Summit held in Washington, D.C.”

Other “Leadership and Service” programs include Neighborhood Builders, volunteering opportunities and Global Ambassadors.

These are only three approaches financial institutions can employ in marketing to women—but they are very effective approaches. They are also good examples of how marketing to women’s gender culture elevates an industry or category as a whole. Men and women both have benefitted from product improvements and marketing evolutions seen in the banking world. Remember the days before free checking when banking products were sold using black and white tables of numbers and disclaimers? No thanks!

 

Look Her in the Eyes when Selling to Women

Look Her in the Eyes when Selling to WomenIt’s a simple tip, really. But so important. When you’re selling to women, make eye contact.

When women talk to each other, they stand face-to-face. They spend a lot of time looking at each other’s faces and making eye contact. It’s how they read each other’s body language and understand the nonverbal context of the conversation. It’s also one signal women give that “I’m paying attention to you.”

Look Her in the Eyes when Selling to WomenThis conversational style doesn’t come naturally to men, who prefer to make occasional eye contact while mostly looking at a neutral object. It’s sort of like two guys sitting next to each other at a ballgame. Face-to-face interaction seems aggressive in male gender culture.

But if you’re selling to women, you need to understand and work within female gender culture. She wants you to look at her! And she wants to be able to look at you.

Benefits of Face-to-Face Interaction when Selling to Women

Here’s what happens when you look her in the eyes:

  • She’s confident you’re listening to her
  • She assumes you are interested in the conversation and that it’s important to you
  • She feels like she can listen to you more effectively because she can read your body language
  • She won’t be tempted to think you are daydreaming or distracted

Take a chance, look her in the eyes! She’ll notice. And she’ll appreciate it.

[VIDEO] How to Get Referrals from Women

A HUGE part of selling to women is powering women’s word of mouth and earning referrals. My advice for earning referrals from women will surprise you! Don’t offer incentives or ask bluntly– surprise and delight!