Selling Financial Services to Women

How Women Can Gain Credibility with Men

Just as men need to better understand women to sell to them, women need to better understand men and their decision making process in order to connect and sell to them.

I’ve talked with many female financial professionals who are looking for better ways to promote themselves and their ideas, and to gain the confidence of their male clients and colleagues.

The secret to being successful with men is to understand how they think and make decisions. In my book Selling Financial Services to Women I have a whole chapter devoted to brain differences and another chapter devoted to male vs. female communication style. It’s worth the price of the book to read those two chapters. You’ll have so many “aha” moments.

But for now, here are some tips on how to be more persuasive with men.

Three biggest mistakes women make when selling to men

1. Not stating your credentials up front. Men won’t really listen to you unless they know up front you know what you’re talking about. One of the first questions many women are asked is, “How long have you been working here?” That is a man’s way of asking “Do you really know what you’re doing?”

2. Not getting to the point. While men give only the information they feel is necessary, women tend to give background information they feel is important so that they will be properly understood. In short, women give more context to their statements. Men often feel that women get “off track” when they share this “extra” information, especially if women don’t tie it back directly to the immediate goal at hand.

3. Not asking for the business. Women have some natural advantages when it comes to relationship building. But women can sometimes have a more indirect communication style. Men want clear action steps. In an effort not to appear pushy, women can sometimes miss the opportunity to close the deal.

Steps you can take to be more successful when selling to men

1. State your credentials up front – whether you are in a meeting, networking, or speaking at an event, find ways to share your expertise.

a. Hand out your business card with your title and certifications

b. Share your experience. If you’ve been in the business for a while, share the number of years you’ve worked and number of clients you’ve helped

c. Have someone else sing your praises. I know an advisor who has a senior VP pop his head into prospective client meetings. He simply says, “Amy here is one of our top people, I know she’ll do a great job for you.” She closes more business when this authority figure speaks highly of her.

d. Share big name firms or clients you work with. When I speak, I always have the person who introduces me announce the big name companies I’ve worked with.

2. Have an agenda for every meeting and phone call. Women can be more indirect in their communication style. If you’re setting up a meeting or a phone call, be clear as to what you want to accomplish in that meeting or call. Also, because women like to broaden out the conversation, men sometimes feel you’re getting off track. So for every meeting, state the agenda up front including what you’ll cover and what the goal of the meeting or phone call is. For example: “You’ve expressed an interest in life insurance. The first half the meeting I’m going to be asking for information about you, your family, your lifestyle and financial situation. In the second half, we’ll discuss different life insurance options to determine which one is best for you. At the end of the meeting, I’ll give you a specific product recommendation including costs and walk you step by step through the application process.” If you just jump in and start asking questions about family, he may be wondering, “When are we going to get to the important part- costs and death benefits?”

3. Ask for the business. Because women don’t want to appear pushy, they sometimes put off the close for too long. For example, let’s say you have set up a prospecting phone call. At the end of the call you say, “It’s been great talking with you. I’d love to continue the conversation. Could we set up another call later this week?” Instead, ask for the business. “It’s been great talking with you and exploring what it would look like to work together. I’d really like to be your financial advisor. The next step would be to meet at my office and draw up the necessary paperwork” Men will appreciate your clarity in communication. They also want clear next steps so they know what actions they need to take. At the end of meetings, men want action steps.

Bonus tip – Do something that breaks through stereotypes

I watched an attractive financial professional present to a room full of men. They were sort of paying attention, until she said something that made every one of them sit up and take notice. She shared that she spent 10 years in the military repairing helicopters. Talk about breaking through stereotypes. The men looked at her with new admiration.

What would your clients and colleagues be surprised to learn about you? Do you have a skill, or is there something you’ve accomplished in the past that would make men stand up and take notice? Be sure to share it. Anything you can do to surprise people (in a good way) can help break through stereotypes and misperceptions.

Read more about differences between men and women on my blog.

Other Articles:

Creating a Winning Client Communication System

Why Financial Advisors Are Using Social Media

Women and Finance Survey – What Marketing Images Do Women Prefer?

Read more about selling financial services to women on Holly Buchanan’s blog.

  • Selling Financial Services to Women