This is not an expression you ever want to see on your financial professional's face, especially if you are a woman.
Want to turn a woman off? Want to make her feel unsafe? Want to make her instantly dislike you? Say or do something judgemental.
Here's copy from an ad from a male financial advisor on a women's business owner site:
Are you frustrated by the fact that your finances are out of control?
Do you struggle to make sound decisions regarding your finances?
You’re just too busy keeping up with life’s other demands. Family, work, leisure time, health and hobbies are important priorities
Now I know hitting pain points in an ad is a powerful way to get someone's attention. But be very careful about saying something that comes across as judging her or shaming her, especially when it comes to the two "M"s – Motherhood and Money.
Here's a suggestion for rewriting the copy above to still be powerful, but less judgmental.
Original: Are you frustrated by the fact that your finances are out of control?
New: Tired of feeling frustrated about your financial situation? Would you like to have more control over your finances?
Now you are talking about a feeling, rather than a "fact that your finances are out of control."
Original – Do you struggle to make sound decisions regarding your finances?
New: Would you like to have more confidence that you're making sound decisions regarding your finances?
The focus has changed from "you can't make sound decisions" to "you'd like to make more sound decisions"
Original: You’re just too busy keeping up with life’s other demands. Family,
work, leisure time, health and hobbies are important priorities
New: Other priorities always seem to need your attention. Family, work, day-to-day responsiblities.
First of all, "hobbies" implies something frivoulous. And if you really want to piss off a woman, ask her, "So what do you do in your leisure time?" I guarantee her answer every time will be, "What leisure time?" Go ahead, try it right now.
Why judgemental language is so dangerous when marketing to women
Why is this so important when it comes to messages around money? Especially messages from men to women about money? Women are not happy with the financial industry.
According to a BCG survey, 73 percent of women said they are “most dissatisfied” with the financial services industry. Women claim they are not respected, often treated in a condescending manner, receive poor or contradictory advice, and get worse terms and deals than men.
So women are already on high alert. Judgemtal language will not help the situation. Nor will judgemental body language. Check out the facial expressions on this man in the H&R Block commercial:
Whether iyou are working with a CPA or a financial advisor, you are sharing some of your most intimate personal information. Women want to feel comfortable and safe with that financial professional.
The above commercial had a terrific ending. I wouldn't go near the judgemental guy in the beginning of the commercial with my taxes, but the smiling nice guy at the end might get my business.
Are you using judgemental language? Verbal language or body language?
Review your marketing materials and sales process and call out anything that sounds judgemental. Better yet, get a woman to do the review. She will likely pick up on something you may have missed.