Financial planners can have significant impact on their female clients while building long-term relationships. Knowing your clients well and applying a few simple strategies can help. It does not require a national firm or a separate division; the tools of success are available to all planners. Follow these steps consistently and you will not only make your women clients happy, but will see those clients refer their friends to you:
1. Ask what they would like to have happen in their relationship with you. Listen carefully to the answer and include their desires in your agenda.
2. Never suggest that there is some information that they will not understand. Instead, be a teacher and a guide.
3. Offer educational opportunities for your clients in your office, at local schools, libraries, or at nearby restaurants and clubs. Invite them to bring their friends.
4. Spend more of your time explaining patiently, addressing all questions, and drawing your clients out about their concerns. While the bottom line is important, allowing your clients to understand that how you get to it counts as well.
5. Create a nonjudgmental environment in which clients feel free to raise very personal questions. Show understanding and concern.
6. Design surveys to explore your clients’ thinking, analyze the results, and make sure your practice reflects what you have learned.
7. Become expert in issues of great interest to women clients. Include family issues, intergenerational situations, privacy concerns, control by the family breadwinner, and handling an inheritance.
8. Consider publications specifically for your women clients; invite them to small-scale meetings or one-on-one discussions with an advisor.
9. Compile a reading list you can recommend for clients at different levels of knowledge and sophistication.