It's rare that an opportunity of this size comes along, but here it is, staring us in the face. There is a stupid amount of money to be made in the financial services industry, not by creating crazy new products or discovering the next hot emerging market. The opportunity is right here under our noses.
Smart financial companies are now spending time and resources to attract women consumers. They understand why the need to market to women, but most haven't figured out how to market and sell to women.
In a recent study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group, women identified the financial services industry as the one they are most dissatisfied with.
In her book Too Busy to Shop, Kelley Skoloda shares research that found 84% of women feel misunderstood by investment marketers. Yup, 84% think the financial services market is doing a terrible job of meeting their needs.
These numbers actually make me giddy. Why? Because when women deal with financial services companies, they go in with such low expectations, that when you get it right with women – they notice.
Since I do a great deal of work in the financial services industry helping companies successfully market to and sell to women, I'm doing a series on how to sell financial services to women. We'll look at companies and individuals who are doing a great job of selling to and connecting with women clients.
Why sell financial services to women?
In case you need some ammunition to share with management on why they should be focusing on women, here are a few stats:
- One in four women out earns her husband.
- Boomer women are going to have all the money. They're getting a double inheritence from their parents and husbands. In the next decade, boomer women will inherit 12 to 40 trillion dollars.
- Women control 75% of the family finances.
- More women are participating in long-term financial planning. (I'll be sharing more on this in a later post about my just completed research project.)
How are men and women different in their approach to financial services?
This could fill up a whole book. (As a matter of fact, it's going to be my next book). But here are a few key points:
- On average, women live longer than men and need to plan for those extra years.In Smart Money's October cover article – Why Women Get a Raw Deal In Retirement they point out that retirement plans don't always take into consideration products that are suited to her longevity needs like annuities and long term care insurance.
- Men value credentials, track records and performance. Women value these things too, but relationships, connection, and trusting your adviser are absolutely key to satisfying and retaining female consumers.
- Often, the meetings and the relationship are with the man in the couple, not the woman. That's a big reason why 7 out of 10 women leave their financial adviser within 3 years of widowing or divorcing.
- Women want more information and education about financial products and long-term planning. They are flocking to the Internet, seminars, and trusted sources to get educated, make informed choices, and make sure they have a comprehensive plan in place so they can sleep at night.
How can you do a better job of selling financial services to women?
In several upcoming posts I'll look at companies and individuals who are successfully selling financial services and products to women.
If you have any success stories to share, I'd love to hear from you.