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When advisors are prospecting they need to realize that we no longer live in a world where a cookie-cutter approach will get it done. Not all clients are made alike. It’s clear we have strong diversity in this country and it requires advisors to no longer subscribe to a one-size-fits-all approach.

This philosophy even extends to specific market types. I had the good fortune recently of serving on a diversity marketing webinar with Rebecca True of Orlando, Fla.-based True Capital Advisors. True said something during the webinar that resonated—that women are not a niche market.

That’s definitely not something I’d heard before. We’d approached things from the aspect of marketing to men versus women. But what True said made sense. So, what are the market segments or niches with women?

True said there are a few niches to consider:

  • Women business owners
  • Corporate executive women in a specific industry
  • Women in transition–divorcees, widows, sudden inheritors

As you can see from the three groups there are fairly broad distinctions. For instance, women business owners might respond to products where you talk in terms of tax savings. Also, they’ll be interested to hear about the products that impact employees and employee benefits.

For corporate executive women, there’s a level of sophistication there. They don’t want to be talked down to. They move in exclusive circles, serve on boards of other companies, often spearhead nonprofit fundraising projects. They understand the complexities of various financial instruments and might respond better to complex products and how they are impacted by domestic and global financial markets.

The third group is perhaps the most interesting—women in transition. The pivotal dynamic here is that their spouse, in most cases, made the financial, investment and retirement decisions. Now, they are the financial decision maker in the family. Frequently, these women have been homemakers and now have come into significant assets. With this scenario in mind, it’s imperative that advisors approach these prospects as a true coaching experience.

Why so much emphasis on the women’s market? According to True, the female economy is one of the largest on earth:

  • Women worldwide earn $13 trillion and control $20 trillion of consumer spending. This is three times China’s GDP.
  • Also, and this is the most compelling statistic I’ve seen: Women control 51.3 percent of all wealth in the United States, according to the Federal Reserve. That’s right—women control a majority of the wealth in the U.S. today. Not five years from now or 50 years from now but today.
  • Ninety-two percent of women at some point in their lives will become the primary decision maker for their household’s wealth. 
  • By age 65, the majority of women are single… so, at some point, women will be the main population that advisors work with and, according to another recent study advisors need to do a much better job of connecting with this significant market demographic. According to a 2012 Boston Consulting Group Study, “women have a distinct lack of trust when it comes to the financial industry and advisors. Of those women surveyed, 73 percent said they are dissatisfied with the industry. The said they feel they are overlooked, excluded, receive contradictory or poor advice, and get worse deal terms than men.”

As you continue to develop your marketing plans for the rest of this year and on into 2013 remind yourself that the cookie-cutter approach no longer gets the job done because one size does not fit all.

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