Judy was panicked over her investments and frozen in indecision about what to do next. The market wasn’t doing well and she wasn’t sure what all of this meant for her. She was in her mid-fifties, didn’t have a pension (darn those years of doing her own thing) and was single. Late at night, while lying in bed, she was obsessed with the haunting images of ending up as a bag lady, pushing a cart down the street and wearing old clothes. She knew this was irrational- after all she was well educated and considered a success by any objective standard. But she couldn’t get these thoughts out of her head.
Whenever she heard from her investment advisor, she grew more frustrated. He just didn’t seem to get it. The more she expressed her anxiety, the more he talked about numbers, ratios, forecasts, averages, and projections. By the time he got to his third piece of information about her portfolio, she wasn’t even listening anymore. Oh, she was polite enough and looked attentive, but she was overwhelmed by the rush of emotion and the overload of data. She didn’t feel her advisor really understood her- he was a successful guy who looked so confident. And whenever she told him she was anxious, he just responded by giving her more information. She wanted to scream- or cry. All she wished for was to be understood and reassured. Maybe she should find a new advisor- this situation was never going to change. And there was no point in bringing it up to him- he just didn’t seem to understand. She didn’t trust what she was hearing and she certainly didn’t trust that he appreciated her situation.
This is a real scenario and typical of what is happening in the financial services world. Women are frustrated with the inability of most financial institutions to realize that their approach to investing is unique and not like a male approach. This is the reason so many are demanding female advisors. The industry, however, is sadly underserved by women As a result, the business is neglecting the needs of women and are thus ignoring hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue and profit.
Ironically, I have researched and consulted to the financial services business for many years but have been an unhappy client as well. It is time for the industry to take charge of the situation and give women what they have been asking for. If not, women will find something else to invest their money in, and it won’t be the market.
One of the first things advisors need to understand in dealing with women is that the relationship is all important. This requires advisors to shift mindsets from selling to listening. Advisors also need to slow down and invest the time to develop the relationship. Throw out the script and the process- it won’t help you here. What women; no, all customers, want is genuineness. They want you to be real. And to know that you’re sincere. They want to be reassured that not only are you listening, but that you’re really hearing what they have to say. That you are invested in their dreams, their ambitions and that you understand their fears and insecurities.
Right about now, you’re probably thinking that I’m advocating that you become well-versed in psychology. Absolutely not. But I am advocating that you learn how to have a meaningful conversation. It’s not impossible and doesn’t require you to change who you are or to fake it. There are skills and methods which will make it easier.
Financial professionals and their clients need to be able to better manage their relationships. They need to understand their client’s attitude towards money. My experience and research has led me to classify our money attitudes into six elements: Analytical Orientation, Financial Acumen, Optimistic Orientation, Abundance orientation, Trust Orientation and Urgency Orientation. Where a client ranks on these elements will inform the advisor about the most appropriate means of interaction with his/her client through market ups and downs.
Building a trusting relationship with women investors is a different journey than building one with men. It’s well worth the investment of your time to get to know your client on a personal level. If you rush to a product sell, you will likely intimidate your client or scare her away. She will want to understand you, know how you think and what your values are. She will want to ensure that your values align with her values.
MyMoneyMindset can guide you and your client through that process. It will make what could be an awkward conversation much more comfortable. Your client will appreciate your interest and you will appreciate the process which helps you develop the conversation at a much more meaningful level. You will develop a reputation for superior client relationships and a referral level which will soar. https://www.seattlemoneycoach.com/
President, Trust Learning Solutions
Co-Founder The Real Executive
60 Bloor Street West, Ste 1100
Toronto Ontario M4W 3B8
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