Women have many financial questions and while they nod their heads and may say they understand what you are saying they will often leave your office feeling more confused than when they walked through your door.
Now don’t take this personally, it’s not really you it’s more about how we have been taught to address their concerns and the solutions we provide.
Most of the questions women have for a prospective advisor all stem from three sources:
- Why you care about her?
- Why you do what you do?
- Why you make the investment decisions that you do?
I often speak about the importance of having a clear compelling message which clarifies why you do what you do. I constantly tout the importance of having a story which tells her why you care about her especially as a woman. But it’s the final question: Why you make the investment decisions that you do that leaves her reeling in confusion and often frustration.
As an advisor you have been taught how to present your investment philosophy or methodology and up until now it may have worked, but I question whether your female clients ever really understood. We have a responsibility to our female clients to learn how to articulate this aspect of what you do in a way that provides more clarity not confusion, more meaning not mental mayhem.
Advisors, even those who claim to be Women’s Wealth Specialists, tend to drown women (and sometimes men) in long winded explanations of their credentials, experience and investment process infusing technical terms that are meaningless to most (especially women). Words such as ‘asset allocation’ and ‘diversification’ are perceived by the industry as valuable and compelling when in reality they simply confuse and bore women often causing them to tune out. Even graphs and charts ie; the Ibbetson patchwork chart simply overwhelms and detracts from your true value. Women don’t want to know how to make the clock they want to know why they need the clock. The same holds true with your investment philosophy.
“When women understand why you invest the way you do in simple compelling language the barriers come down and the relationship grows.”
When presenting your investment philosophy to women the most powerful way to gain her trust and understanding is to start by using cliches’. Yes we are talking about old fashioned cliches that already have meaning, not financial cliches that are only meaningful to those in the industry. The better known the cliche the greater the value, which enhances women’s confidence and ability to understand.
When the moment arrives where you must share your role as their investment advisor using cliches will not just create more understanding it will validate your investment recommendations. Instead of overwhelming your client with technical terms and financial jargon they aren’t familiar with, by incorporating clichés your clients will feel more comfortable and more confident in your approach and ultimate investment decisions. .
How advisors can put cliches to work
Here are a few examples of how you and your clients will benefit the moment you begin incorporating three cliches into your investment repertoire:
- You’ll experience a receptive client: The moment the male advisor shared her clichés the woman nodded and was totally receptive to the recommendations.
- Clichés also have a positive effect on husbands: After using her 3 clichés, she realized it wasn’t just the women who appreciated this approach, as the men seemed more relaxed and focused on the investment recommendations as well.
- Using clichés allows you to prioritize your time: By using his 3 clichés he didn’t have to spend time explaining what he does. Because they grasped his intent early on he was able to spend more time focusing on the client rather than the “efficient frontier”.
- Clichés are a simple and effective approach: Advisors who incorporate these cliches into their presentations find themselves answering fewer questions saving them a ton of time and energy.
- Using clichés builds confidence: When the advisor shared her cliches to the couple she could see the receptivity in both the husband and the wife. But by the end of the meeting the woman expressed greater confidence in the decisions they were making because she “understood”.
In your desire to incorporate cliches into your presentation it’s important that the cliches adhere to three key principles:
- It’ must be your core belief and a pure reflection of you and your approach. Using some other advisors examples will not work, unless it comes from your internal beliefs it will not integrate well with your message and ultimately infuse more doubt from the prospect or client.
- It must be very well known, a cliche that most everyone understands the meaning immediately. The older more established cliche the greater the impact.
- You must be able to explain why and how that cliches applies to the investment decision you make.
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