Hard to believe we’re almost two months into 2021? This means that you only have 10 months to make it your best year ever. But don’t panic – you have plenty of time to make this a winning year.
Like most advisors, you probably started the year by making plans to improve and even grow your practice. You might have your own strategies or you may look to others for how you can achieve your goals: ‘get more organized’, ‘offer something unique’, ‘ask for referrals’, ‘deliver value’, ‘follow a script’. With only a slight twist to accommodate the pandemic-era, all of the suggestions are rehashes of advice we’ve heard for years.
The elephant in the room and often overlooked is that, shifting social orders require a different approach. The face of the typical investor is changing – no longer are those investing mostly well-off, older, white males.
Today, Millennials are twice as likely as older investors to consider using a robo-advisor, according to a recent Vanguard survey. In addition, the cohort of women with wealth is growing exponentially. Women will control $93 trillion in wealth globally by 2023 and many are looking for financial advice – but they want advice on their terms.
Major financial organizations are well aware of these societal shifts and are putting financial and human resources behind rethinking how they deliver their services. Not surprisingly, they come to the same conclusion: in order to grow the advice segment – the value-add provided has to be better connections. That means spending more time on a human level with clients – because certainly robo-advisors can’t deliver on this front, nor do many advisors currently – and it is what women are looking for.
So, what exactly are the financial organizations doing to meet these changing needs? For one thing, they are revamping their recruitment and training programs to attract more female advisors. Why? Because they realize that female advisors have the innate skills to build strong relationships with all kinds of people and they provide services in a way that resonates with female investors in particular.
Are we saying that female advisors are going to eat your lunch sooner or later? You bet! Unless you are close to retirement and don’t care, chances are you will, at best, find it hard to attract new business or, at worst, lose business – either to robo-advisors or to those more adept at delivering what women want – and that would be female financial advisors. (Remember: 80% of widows leave their financial advisor upon the death of their spouse).
So, what can you do?
- First and foremost – accept the reality of the changes happening around you – it’s not business as usual.
- Second, understand that delivering what women want requires a different approach (rarely is it about the make-up of the portfolio and money management skills).
- Third, know that you can do something about it – start today, listen and learn.
You will find that you’ll need to learn new and different approaches to growing your business but acquiring the skill to build relationships and connect with people – is like any other skill – it takes good information and practice on your part.
We have been working with the financial community and advisors for years and have met plenty who take the time to learn how to better relate to women. And, these advisors succeed beyond their expectations with all clients.
So maybe your plan for 2021 should be – “eating someone else’s” lunch!