By Adri Miller-Heckman for IRIS.xyz
Gender balanced teams are on the rise, the industry is desperate to add women to their firms and teams in order to attract and retain more women.
But without proper training, this diverse structure will have limited benefits. Many assume just having a woman on their team will improve their ability to make stronger connections with women and retain more assets while that may be true when it comes to benefits this is just the tip of the iceberg.
As our world becomes more diverse so must the financial industry, building a gender-balanced team opens the door to a multitude of business growth and marketing benefits. Unfortunately, most firms and advisors lack the knowledge and process to maximize the benefits minimizing the immediate and ultimate compounding the growth impact. Think about it, after adding a woman to your team, what has changed? If you are thinking about adding a woman to your team, what do you intend to change?
Women advisors bring a plethora of strengths to the industry that can have a powerful impact on business growth but unless you allow her to unleash her true strengths the results will be minimal. Without a clearly defined process for integration, most women advisors are left to adapt to the current business model – one that was designed by men to attract men. Prospecting, selling and closing, concepts women abhor, continue to be the underlying foundation to business growth. As such women advisors are expected to promote the traditional (male-oriented) process and model which does little to leverage her skills as a woman; this is like throwing a canvas tarp over a Picasso.
Do women advisors have an advantage over male advisors when working with women? Yes and no. Yes, because they understand how women think, what women want, and can naturally empathize with the challenges they face. No, because many women clients have been raised looking to men for investment advice learning to trust them in lieu of clarity and understanding, but those days are quickly ending. Today women clients want to be engaged, educated and empowered not simply told what to do.
As more women advisors enter the industry and begin to build a practice that is all women, creating a female-friendly environment, a process that women can embrace, including events and educational components that create a supportive community for women, that’s when women gain the greatest advantage and will have a dramatic impact on your team image and perceived value. You best move when adding a woman to your team is to step back, listen and learn.
In order to maximize the impact of having a woman on your team you must allow her to create a business within a business, this requires a female-friendly business model. Think of it as if you are creating a sort of “She shed” for women within your practice. It may just be a “Savvy Woman” tab on your website but when she clicks on that tab it is like a breath of fresh air. The look, the feel even the message is all about women and speaks woman. Your story “why you care about women” becomes the foundation of trust. Your authentic compelling message designed around women is enticing, inspiring and draws women in. Your process appeals to her desire to feel more organized, simplifying the process to fit her life. Your educational components are no longer simply about the markets but are designed to engage, inspire and motivate women to take more ownership in their financial life. That’s what women love and want.
Diversity is our future, it is unavoidable. To maximize the benefits, you must fully embrace this new feminine shift in our world. This new female-friendly approach will not undermine what you have already created but will simply enhance and elevate your real value attracting more women naturally and appealing to the men who love them.
If you truly grasp the powerful impact a gender-balanced team can have on the growth of your business, then let her rip. Give your female advisor the opportunity to create a practice within a practice. Let her carve out space, environment, and process (that may feel contrary to industry protocol) that is totally designed for women based on what women want. This is how you maximize the impact of a gender balanced team and you will lead the industry in appealing to one of the wealthiest demographic groups that will last for many decades to come, women.
To learn more about creating a female-friendly process and practice visit www.femXadvisor.com.