Last month on our path to reaching womenville, we reviewed critical factors in dealing with this niche, including why asking great questions and learning about clients and prospects is essential, and why you need to listen with your eyes as well as your ears.
This month we will review mistakes to avoid as well as the secret of working with affluent women.
Don't make assumptions
You know what they say happens when you assume something: You make an "ass" out of "u" and "me." So don't make assumptions or jump to conclusions when it comes to affluent women.
On a cruise to Cozumel, I had a conversation with some colleagues about marketing to women. One guy commented -- with a straight face -- that "all you need to do to get to a woman is send her chocolates."
I found this funny because, prior to leaving for the trip, I received a call from a prominent broker/dealer who was researching experts on affluent women to learn how to tap into this market. The woman I spoke with said, "It's amazing how many men just don't get it. One executive in my company recently said that the best way to reach women was to simply send them flowers and chocolates."
If you're targeting women, hopefully you understand that flowers and chocolate isn't always the best strategy, and with some women can be the worst strategy. The four basic personality types described below begin to reveal why:
- Doers are short on patience and need to get to the bottom line quickly
- Expressives love to talk and are rarely without words
- Amiables avoid conflict and just want to be friends
- Analyticals like to analyze data and can find it difficult to make decisions
On top of this, there are three basic types of affluent women clients:
- Traditional women are wives and/or moms who are generally dominant Amiables and non-dominant Expressives or Analyticals. They're often married to Doers.
- Non-traditional women are executives and entrepreneurs who are generally dominant Doers or Analyticals and non-dominant Expressives or Analyticals.
- Combination women are women who possess elements of both traditional and non-traditional women. They are often Doers and Amiables who balance families and careers.
Affluent women are on a continuum that has extremely traditional women (submissive and passive) on one end and extremely non-traditional women (dominant and aggressive) on the other.
If you send chocolates to a traditional woman whose dominant personality type is Amiable, chances are you'll hit the mark: There's always a little truth to most generalizations and stereotypes. But if you send those same chocolates to a non-traditional woman who runs her own company, there's a chance she won't be quite so happy. She may give them away or even throw them out. Sending gift cards or books to non-traditional women is often smarter than sending chocolates.
A common question I receive is, "Can a man be successful working with affluent women?" Younger affluent women really don't care what gender their advisors are, and most affluent women over age 65 actually prefer male advisors -- as long as they "get it."
Recently, an affluent woman I work with shared that she won't do business with a company unless there are some women in decision-making roles. I find this interesting, and agree with her that companies with women in power positions are more sensitive and likely to catch what I refer to as "dumb mistakes."
For instance, I attended a recent meeting where the only presenters were men. The content was great, but every woman in the audience couldn't believe that there weren't any women presenting -- especially since the presenting company generates over 65 percent of their business from female clients. Instead of focusing on the information, these women felt slighted. I'm sure that if women were involved in organizing the meeting, this would have been avoided.
The key takeaway is that you need to be sensitive and err on the conservative side when you're dealing with affluent women. If you can understand how a woman would feel in a given situation, you'll likely be a success with your female clients.
One of the wholesalers I work with is insensitive when working with women, to put it mildly. At a recent conference, about half a dozen women came up to me and asked, "How can you work with him?" My response was that "You should have seen him two years ago, before I came along!"
Many women simply walk away from insensitive people, instead of confronting them and giving them a chance to mend their ways. I keep telling this wholesaler that he's going to have to be proactive about changing his ways before demographic shifts really impact his bottom line.
That being said, in my Affluent Women Training Program, I've encountered many men who are actually more sensitive to their female clients than their female counterparts. To me, this proves that anyone who works to understand women won't be missing the boat at all. Quite the contrary, they'll enjoy smooth sailing all the way.
The secret to working with affluent women is that there really is no secret. Success with affluent women simply boils down to developing relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
Take the time to get to know your female clients by learning how to ask fabulous questions, increasing your ability to pick up on subtle visual feedback, and trying hard to put yourself in their shoes.
The effort will be worth it, since you'll be deepening your existing relationships and, at the same time, making it easier to develop new relationships that will keep your business thriving for many years to come.
*For further information, or to contact this author about Webinars including: "Marketing to Affluent Women" or more information about our product and training for The Affluent Women's Marketing Guide, How to Market to and Work with Affluent Women, please leave a comment and your e-mail address in the forum below.