Earlier this year, I sat down with Danny Liberatore from The Wealth Enrichment Financial Group to discuss the impact Financial DNA has had on his practice, and how it transformed the way he works with his clients.
Working with female investors
One of my biggest takeaways from our identity conversation was Danny’s approach in working with female investors. He mentioned that most of his clients are females and that Financial DNA insights have enabled him to foster meaningful relationships with them.
You see, female investors don’t want to be treated any differently than men, however, their communications styles are different. They want to be part of the process. They have a savviness for the intricacies of our work and appreciate the educational part of it all.Danny Liberatore
Behavioral finance insights particularly come into play in this situation when you are working with male and female partners. Their dynamics unravel from day one, and you need to pay attention to their behaviors in order to understand them better and manage their biases.
Involve both in the conversation
Danny shared with me that most of the time, the women are different from their partners, in terms of behavior and responsiveness.
It is no secret that the financial service industry has done a very poor job trying to understand women and genuinely helping them. What happens more often than not is that they are being ignored and their opinions are unsolicited or unappreciated.
As a financial advisor, you need to be able to wear different hats when working with couples. When you make the effort of explaining things differently to your clients and accordingly to their behavioral styles, you get instant breakthroughs.
Danny mentioned that he’s made it a habit to always address the wife first and disclose to the husband that while he might be addressing him later on separately, he doesn’t want him to feel ignored or unappreciated. He will ensure to bring the husband back into the conversation and keep her engaged.
The truth is, once you honestly explain your process, your clients instantly feel included. It not only puts them at ease, but it builds trust. And we all know that trust is a fundamental factor in advisor/client relationships.
This is a common situation for FI’s to find themselves in. When the female is not the breadwinner or the creator of the wealth, you’ve got to make her even more involved, without leaving the male out either.
How it usually starts
When meeting with a potential client for the first time, pay very close attention to the couple dynamics as they unravel before you. It is common for men to take on the lead role in a conversation with their advisor, especially at the beginning.
However, if it gets to the point where the female’s opinion is not taken into consideration or is not solicited at all in the planning process, that should be a red flag for you. You need to make the effort to always keep them engaged and involve them in the conversation.
You can also look at it from a business perspective. Let’s say you are taking on this new client that has great assets and potential for revenue growth. If you strictly focus on working with the husband, when life happens and you find yourself in an intergenerational wealth transfer situation, what are your chances to still be the financial advisor for that family?
When working with your clients, it might feel normal to engage the one partner that takes on the role of leader and simply overlook the other. The risk you are running there is to not only alienate one of the decision makers but also falling victim to your own status quo biases. Pay attention to your client’s dynamics, keep both of them engaged, and build what could potentially be a lifetime working relationship.