Women want a personal connection

Apr 14, 2013 @ 8:32 am

By Liz Skinner

Financial advisers seeking to attract and retain female clients should focus on connecting with them personally instead of trying to dazzle them with 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, Cathy Curtis, owner of Curtis Financial Planning, said last Tuesday during an InvestmentNews webcast on women and investing.

“Especially with single women, they are looking for a "financial spouse' be-cause they are busy doing other things in their life,” said Ms. Curtis, who fo-cuses her advisory practice on female clients.

Women ap-preciate personal openness and transparency, particularly around fees, Ms. Curtis said.

One way Sheryl Garrett, founder of The Garrett Planning Network Inc., creates a connection with her female clients is to ask them in-depth questions about their lives. She also shares with clients details of her own life to build trust.

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

Garrett Planning's offices and website are filled with family photos to show clients her personality and to encourage them to discuss their own family and interests.

The panelists recommended that advisers interested in building a practice catering to women consider speaking to groups or hosting events that tackle issues women care about, such as entertaining on a dime.

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

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