By ABBY VICK
More and more women are taking ownership of their own finances, some by choice and others by necessity. Like I mentioned in my previous article, over 80% of women will die single-either from divorce or death. And younger generations, Gen X and Millennial women are both the household CFO and main investor for their retirement monies.
This means salesmen and advisors, during their meetings need to keep in mind that these women want to be a part of the decision-making process. And for many millennial and younger households, the woman is the decision-maker. This means the effort in making connections with the woman in the relationship is vital to the success and overall longevity of that client relationship.
I have had many conversations with girl friends who agree that if we interact with a salesperson who speaks to us with disrespect, we find someone else to work with. You will not get a referral, instead you’ll get someone who will warn their female friends to stay away from you. One of the biggest complaints I hear is, “he talked to my husband about the details and only interacted with me about the touchy-feely stuff.” I’m not sure why men think the other man in the room is interested in the technical details when the wife is interested in how it’s making her feel. But this stereotype is grossly outdated for the majority of women.
As a salesperson, you don’t know the dynamics of the relationship of the couple who is sitting in front of you. You don’t know who handles the daily money, who makes investment decisions, and who is the breadwinner of the family. Following an outdated stereotype of the man being falling into this archetype will get you in some trouble and cost you valuable clients. Our world has drastically changed in the dynamics of money and relationships and in many ways, the financial world has not evolved to catch up. We are still following the heterosexual white male’s way of sales, marketing, and advice. But this will not serve you well for much longer.
As older generations retire and pass on, the younger generations will control more of the wealth. These are the Gen X, Millennials, and eventually Gen Z, who are drastically different from their older counterparts. They want to be treated with respect, as equals, and they want to partner with someone who will let them be in the driver’s seat. These generations have seen their parents and grandparents lose their retirement money in the market and be cheated by brokers and insurance agents who are only interested in commission. They are skeptical and have lots of questions. They will leave your meeting and research everything you said on the internet to check your answers. They will test your boundaries and negotiate your prices.
So, if you’re interested in staying relevant and making a multi-generational impact, you might have to look at your current strategy and reevaluate how you’re treating people in your office.
- Are you speaking to everyone in the room as if they are equals?
- Are you educating and giving them information so they can make an informed decision or are you asking for blind trust?
- Are you asking for their opinion and inviting them to be a part of the process?
- Are you creating lifelong relationships built on understanding and empowerment?
This is what I want when I am working with a new business relationship. This shows me that they have nothing to hide, they’re proud of what they offer, and they will pay attention to me even after the sale is complete. This is how women want to be treated and how we expect to be treated, especially when you’re granted with the honor of handling our money.
Abby Vick is an Investment Advisor, the owner of Paradigm Money Management and a leading expert in empowering women to awaken to their financial potential.