Women & Legacy Planning

The Female Market Reality

by Tony DiLeonardi

Fully understanding the impact of the female investor on your business is essential to your long-term success.  In my opinion, the real challenge for advisors is learning how to attract, retain and serve female clients.
Before taking on those three challenges, I recommend that you first evaluate the actual gender demographics of your practice. That assessment will provide a good measure of your success with attracting and retaining female clients. If your practice reflects U.S. demographics―according to the U.S. Census Bureau's there are nearly 5.5 million more women than men in the country― more than half of your client base would be women. Only after you evaluate demographics of your practice can you move forward with repairing the disparities and pursuing the untapped opportunity.
Once you've evaluated the actual gender demographics of your client base, the next step is to allow the information to guide you.  Ultimately, you shouldn't just pursue the untapped opportunity, but rather pursue the untapped opportunity in a manner that can be a long-term win-win for all through a multi-faceted, well-executed approach. Like many others, I readily recognize the opportunities presented by building a female client base. The challenge that I think we all agree on is how to genuinely and effectively serve the female marketplace. Recommended next steps include:
1. Look at your practice - Analyze your practice and ask yourself probing questions such as:  How do I stack up? Do I have enough single women clients?  Have I built a strong client relationship with the married women? Then grade yourself on how well you're doing.
2. Analyze the scope of your local market for women clients. Find out the depth of the women's market in your community and in your service niche. The more you know, the more you will be motivated to go after it.
3. Determine your ideal female client - Depending on your focus and your community, the ideal client may be younger professional women or older women responsible for legacy wealth.
4. Connect to women professionals and learn how to connect with female prospects. Reach out to female peers!
Now that you have the framework to plan your course of action, we'll move on to discuss the specifics for attracting, retaining and servicing female clients in my next post.