To be successful with female clients, make it personal

Advisers should create trusting relationships, not put sole focus on investment performance

Apr 10, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

By Liz Skinner

women, advisers
+ Zoom

Financial advisers seeking to attract and retain female clients should focus on connecting with them personally instead of trying to dazzle them with investment performance promises, according to two advisers who have been successful with such clients.

Women are looking for advisers who care about their lives, not just about their finances, said Cathy Curtis, owner of Curtis Financial Planning, during an InvestmentNews webcast yesterday (Listen to the archive of Women and Investing: How to build, maintain and grow relationships) . They want an adviser whom they trust and depend on to be a financial partner.

“Especially with single women, they are looking for a 'financial spouse' because they are busy doing other things in their life,” said Ms. Curtis, who focused her advisory practice on female clients five years ago.

Women appreciate personal openness and want transparency, particularly around fees, according to Ms. Curtis. On her website, she details the cost of her services because she knows women appreciate knowing upfront what they can expect to pay for her advice and planning work.

One way that Sheryl Garrett, founder of The Garrett Planning Network Inc., creates a connection with her female clients, whether they are part of a couple or single, is to ask them in-depth questions about their lives. She also shares with clients details of her own life to build a trusting relationship, an approach that works best with her female clients.

“It's just more natural for women to share things about their lives,” Ms. Garrett said during the hour-long webcast on women and investing. “Men tend to compare, whereas women share.”

Ms. Garrett has even changed the way she dresses, in an attempt to more quickly put clients at ease and help them open up about their financial and other priorities.

Unless she knows clients are coming to meet with her directly from work and may be in suits, she dresses more casually because that's how clients are typically dressed when they come to see her.

“I mirror my clients' appearance to let them know that we're going to get intimate very quickly with our financial planning work,” Ms. Garrett said.

Garrett Planning's offices and website are filled with family photos and pictures of other people pursuing their passions to show clients Ms. Garrett's personality and to encourage them to discuss their own family and interests.

The pair of female advisers recommend that advisers interested in building a practice that caters to female clients consider speaking to groups or hosting events that tackle issues that women care about and are looking for solutions, such as “Entertaining on a Dime.”

Women really appreciate a networking opportunity, Ms. Curtis said.

Both advisers acknowledged that it may be easier for a female adviser to reach out personally to female clients. However, they agree that men have the ability to connect personally with women and discover what matters to them.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

What's next for Carson Coaching?

Ron Carson is leaving Omaha? Well, not completely, but he is taking his Carson Coaching events to Las Vegas in 2018 and Chicago in 2019. Check out a huge party he hosted so, after 23 years, he could leave Omaha with a bang.

Video Spotlight

The Search for Income

Sponsored by PGIM Investments

Recommended Video

Path to growth

Latest news & opinion

How does your advisory firm stack up?

Comparing a firm's pay to the competition can point out vast flaws.

10 signs your client is cheating on you

Sure signs that clients may be on the way out the door.

Morgan Stanley sees slower fee-based asset flows on fiduciary rule delay

Flows to advisory accounts, while still higher than the start of 2016, dropped off more than 20% from Q2 and were the lowest in a year.

How adviser salaries stack up to other jobs

Median compensation hovers just under $100,000 on the low end and reaches nearly $300,000 for bosses.

Finra ranking brokers in effort to crack down on industry's bad apples

All 634.403 reps have been ranked based on factors such as prior regulatory disclosures, disciplinary actions and employment history.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print