More than half of wealthy women are frustrated with their banks, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The BCG study concluded 55 percent of respondents with a quarter of a million dollars in liquid assets believe they get poor service from banks.
The women customers complained in July 2010 about men getting more consideration, a higher level of counseling, and better value in financial terms.
Respondents also said they feel ignored by wealth managers in discussions in favor of their male partners, even when it’s made clear that they’re the decision-maker not the man.
Women also believe they get fewer favorable choices because bankers assume they have a low-risk tolerance.
The wealth manager issues are reminiscent of the car business. Even in the 1990s, car manufacturers such as Chevrolet installed vanity mirrors only in the visor above the passenger’s front seat.
Salespeople would often only address the man when a couple was in the showroom. Women remember these issues from working up their career ladders.
Banks need a revolution
“What banks need is a revolution like the automotive industry had,” said one wealthy woman, “to finally understand that women not only sit in the cars, but also choose, buy and drive them.”
It’s reported that women are responsible for a third of North America’s Indeed, women control (i.e., make the decisions) 33 percent of North America’s affluence. Their aggregate portion is $9 trillion.
Ostensibly, wealth managers don’t know how to communicate with women. In essence, women want to be treated equally and be apprised of services designed for them.
“This may seem contradictory,” BCG reports, “but the desire for a tailored approach is really a sign that women have distinct needs and expectations as clients.”
Women have different reasons
There are several reasons why women have different concerns; they range from the birth of a child to divorce.
Preferences of women include simpler financial statements and financial goals for the long term. And women want deals structured on a friendly relationship basis – empathy, tailored counsel and trust.
My sense is that wealth managers don’t have to panic in this $4.5 trillion+ marketplace. If they start the client process with a foundation using empathy and treating the woman client like it’s an event, they should do well.
Actually, that’s the same process I’d recommend for wealth managers with male clients. Simply put, wealth managers should do their homework, ask open-ended questions and be mindful of a woman’s perspective.
From the Coach’s Corner, see this portal’s Marketing/Sales category for strategies on successful sales and customer service.