Fact: 60% of all personal wealth is held by women in the United States today and 40% of American-owned private businesses are owned by women.
Despite how wealth is distributed in the United States, men still dominate the financial services industry. However, because women are acquiring wealth at a higher rate, it’s of paramount importance that the financial services industry learn how to communicate more effectively with the female population.
Not only are women accumulating wealth at a higher rate, but they are becoming the primary decision makers in their families, with 90% of women likely to control the family’s wealth because they live longer than men.
Also, 70% of women change advisors within one year of their partner dying—a startling statistic, but preventable if advisors establish proper planning and communication at the outset of their relationship with female clients.
For those advisors who offer life insurance as part of your services, here’s something else worth noting: Within the past several decades, more and more women are working full-time and contributing to the workforce (at an all-time high at 49%).
Statistics show that 1.3 million of these working women earn salaries of more than $100,000 annually, and yet 43% have no life insurance. Even though they may be bringing in as much in salary as their spouse, women still predominantly rely on their spouse’s life insurance coverage even if it is significantly lower than what could cover them as well as their families.
The Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) recommends $459,000 per policy in life insurance, but women on average have a policy 31% less than that ($129,800). Educating the female market regarding this discrepancy is extremely important in today’s world. In many cases, men tend to be the point of contact for the advisor/insurance agent.
Going forward, advisors need to understand that it’s important to always include wives and spouses in all of your conversations to promote trust. And since women tend to communicate and digest information differently than men, it’s also important to adjust your strategy for this other half of the market.
Using Social Media to Reach Women
Women are much more active on social media than men. For instance, 76% of US adult women utilize Facebook, compared to 66% of US adult men. They also access social media several times per day and connect with brands more regularly through social. Leveraging social media as a communication platform is simply an easy and effective opportunity for advisors and life insurance agents.
While working women utilize social media, stay-at-home moms are even more avid users. Stay at home moms are generally under-insured and rely heavily on their working husband’s policy, so it’s important to reach these women via social by being a trustworthy person to do business with, especially when it focuses on their family’s security.
There is so much potential to reach these women, but the average advisor doesn’t know how to make sure their message resonates with women.
A recent TD Wealth study laid out the following five ways to connect and build trust with women through social media:
1. Understand their goals
It’s important to leverage content that shows you care about women and their families. Humanize yourself by publishing articles and photos that might resonate with their goals (perhaps addressing wealth preservation vs. accumulation).
2. Focus on aspirational content
Many women tend to care more about things like family, important life events, and vacations rather than the next new sports car on the market. Share photos that focus on spending time with family and improving life through relationships–this will help build your trust.
3. Avoid unnecessarily complex and technical terminology
Be clear and to the point when explaining different policies and options. If terminology is excessively confusing, women will stop listening and look elsewhere for someone they can both communicate with and trust. Also, focus on posting simple content on social media rather than long and detailed product information. Follow up with more detailed information later when you can discuss the specifics in-person.
4. Hold a conversation with women; don’t talk at them
Having a meaningful conversation with a woman showing that you care about both their short-term and long-term financial goals is extremely important. Women are more sensitive to this than men and will not engage with an advisor that doesn’t understand their life plan in-full. Building a lasting relationship based on trustful conversations is key to keeping a woman client.
5. All women are not the same
Be aware of different subsegments within the female subset (think: single moms, working women, sexual orientation, race, age, etc.). Everyone is different and has different needs, so it’s important to reach each group individually and adapt your communication appropriately.
Women are becoming increasingly important to the economy as time goes on, and this trend isn’t slowing anytime soon. Being in a male-dominated field, it’s vital to your business’ future to know how to reach women on social media.