Selling Financial Services to Women

Holly’s Story

“Friends are generally of the same sex, for when men and women agree, it is only in the conclusions; their reasons are always different.” – George Santayana

My interest in marketing and selling to women began when Michele Miller and I decided to write a book together, The Soccer Mom Myth – Today’s Female Consumer, Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys. The only problem was I didn’t think I’d have anything to write about. I did not believe there was that much of a difference between men and women and how they purchased products and services (including financial products and services).

Then I started doing research and I was amazed at what I learned. I’ve turned into a neurology geek studying everything I can about the differences between men’s and women’s brains. I’ve devoured scholarly texts like Gender, Design and Marketing by Gloria Moss. I’ve run tests to see how men and women respond differently to design elements, copy and images. It’s been fascinating.

It is this understanding of the differences between men and women that fuels the success of my work and the success of my clients.

My Background

I started my career in radio advertising where I was the creative director for 5 radio stations. A typical day would include visiting a high-end jeweler to create an ad for a 40 something female executive and end with a trip to a tattoo parlor to create an ad for an 18-year-old guy. I had to learn how to create different ads for different genders and generations. It was a great training ground.

I worked with various ad agencies developing everything from TV and print ads to direct mail pieces. Then in early 2000 I joined an Internet marketing company in New York and entered the fascinating world of websites, email campaigns, search engine marketing and most recently, social media. The great thing about the Internet is you can test different ads to see which ones perform the best and which elements are most persuasive. It was here I first noticed the differences in preferences between men and women.

After the success of The Soccer Mom Myth and my work with marketing to women, I was hooked and in 2008 left New York and returned to Richmond, Virginia to start Buchanan Marketing LLC. My work is my passion. I learn something new every day.

Why I do what I do

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

I’ve so enjoyed working with professionals in the financial field. I’ve never met a more dedicated, smart and interesting group. From individual financial advisors to large insurance companies, I truly enjoy working with my clients and hearing their success stories as they improve their efforts to connect with and sell to women and to couples.

I see transformations in my clients’ business lives and personal lives. I’ve had more than one man tell me I saved his marriage. This information is powerful. So many of the problems between men and women are due to miscommunications and misunderstandings. When we better understand each other, we better appreciate each other. And that’s where the magic happens.

What people are surprised to learn about me

• I have a twin sister. Reaction to that ranges from, “How cool!” to “There are two of you? Please God tell me you’re kidding.”

• I love country music.

• I can put down more sushi than a person twice my size. After a two-hour session at a sushi bar in Vancouver the chef said something in Japanese similar to “Thank you little person who eats like a small whale.”

• One of my all time favorite movies is Lars and the Real Girl.

• My favorite activity is stand–up paddleboarding.

  • Selling Financial Services to Women