Barbara Taylor is a financial advisor based in the Hartford, Conn area. For the last two decades, Barbara Taylor’s practice has been focused on helping clients in the healthcare and higher education sectors with retirement, investment, and insurance planning.
Her client base is 70-80% women.
I sat down (virtually) with Barbara Taylor and asked if she saw a difference in how men and women approached the financial decision making process. Here’s what she had to say:
“Women are great questioners and listeners. They ask more questions, take more notes, and do their homework, and are very visual. They want to be educated. Women will make a decision based on their research and their comfort level. It’s important to know women won’t be pushed, nor should they be. Give women the time to be comfortable with their decisions.”
Another key difference according to Barbara:
“Women tend to be more open minded. Men have their minds made up already.”
I’ve seen the same thing Barbara Taylor is talking about in my research. Women don’t go into meetings dictating what they want to do. Women are actively looking for education, and guidance, and are open to exploring options. This is why women are often driving the decision to use a financial advisor.
Important tips for financial professionals working with women
Here are some of Barbara Taylor’s tips for working with women:
- Don’t rush to sell products. Develop a relationship first. Ask good strong questions to understand who she is, what’s important to her, and who’s important to her.
- Women need to be motivated. They need to know why it’s important to make a decision. If they want to have more control and choice in their life, they need to be the decision maker. It’s better to make decisions now rather than when you’re in a vulnerable position (divorce, widowed, etc.)
- Women want to be self-sufficient. They need to be prepared for a world where employers and the government may not be there for them. They also don’t want to be dependent on family members. The more self sufficient they are, the more control they have over their lives.
- Women (and men) are influenced by the money behaviors they learned growing up. How did their parents handle finances? We tend to model our behavior on what our parents did, either repeating the pattern, or vowing NOT to repeat the pattern. Ask about those experiences and how those experiences influence financial decision making today.
Thanks again to Barbara Taylor for her great advice on how to be more effective attracting in and working with female clients.