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The Art of Selling to Female Clients

The Art of Selling to Female Clients

The first and most important concept to remember when selling to a woman is, “Don’t sell her.” To most women, selling stirs feelings of pressure, detachment and ulterior motives. Yet most women — especially when it comes to their finances — need a push, need convincing before they will take action... even when that action is in their best interest. It’s always been said that women take too long to make a decision, but have you thought we are using the wrong approach and methods to inspire and motivate them to take action?

Women often give subtle indicators that they are interested or gently reject what you have to offer through avoidance. While most men are more direct (they either like what you have or they don’t, want what you are selling or not), women are more subtle and less likely to voice their opinion. You must be able to read the signs with women to win their trust and commitment. When these indicators arise you must tread carefully, following the appropriate steps to winning their trust and business.

[Related: C-Suite Women Appreciate Female Financial Advisors]

Think of this process as you would opening a door, when you knock gently the woman will open the door just a crack — fearful of being taken advantage of, she limits the opening. Each step in this process encourages the woman to open the door further and further until you are finally sitting inside with her enjoying a cup of coffee and having a meaningful conversation about her financial future.

It’s that very first step that is critical. The advisor must be authentic in his message and ready to identify the small signs that the woman is cracking the door open just slightly. It may happen after you share your story about “why you focus on women;” it may occur after you share what you do (assuming you are using your authentic and compelling message). If you have intrigued her you will hear statements like:

  • “Boy, I need that.”
  • “I have a friend that could use you.”
  • “I feel the same way.”
  • “That sounds like me.”

This is her way of saying, “I want to know more.” But don’t start selling her, or you will lose her.

Based on traditional sales tactics and strategies, most advisors would see this as their "enter" to present their practice and value, but don’t be so quick. The moment you push too hard and too fast, the door will be shut and probably permanently locked.

Step two is all about probing, gently peeling the onion a bit further asking her questions, such as:

  • “What is it that you relate to?”
  • “Tell me about your friend and why does she need me.”
  • “What makes finances so uncomfortable to you?”
  • “What stops you from becoming more involved?”
  • “Tell me about your situation.”

She needs to know you are really listening and allowing her to voice her concerns.

[Related: The Five Conversations You Need to Have with Your Financial Advisor]

Step three is all about learning whether what she needs is what you can provide. As she shares more about herself, her friend, her situation, continue to ask her questions — many of which should be open ended, allowing her to talk, voice her concerns and recognize you care and are really listening. Whether or not she becomes your client,  this process will inspire referrals and new introductions, all of which will lead to helping you uncover her need, dollar (whether she has enough assets to leverage your skills) and lastly her commitment to taking the next step.

“Mrs. Smith, I would love to continue this conversation, I believe I could relieve your fears and concerns. Why don’t we set a time to get together again and we can both learn more?”

Take it slowly, show her you care, get her to open up and you will win her trust, loyalty and business.

This article previously appeared on

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