We get calls all the time asking us for referrals. The call today came from a business acquaintance looking for a referral for her sister who had recently become a widow and wasn’t happy with the current financial advisor she and her husband had used.
Getting that type of call doesn’t surprise us – after all, we are in the business of helping to better connect the financial community with women – it is assumed that we know reputable female advisors – and of course we do. What is surprising is that we are increasingly getting calls from men – some are investors looking for female advisors, while others are financial advisors looking for a female financial advisor to buy their practice.
Although each has different reasons for reaching out, they are each looking for someone they can trust and their first impulse is to ask us if we know any female financial advisors to fill their need.
From our experience, at least in as much it pertains to the financial world – we see that people believe they can trust women in the industry more than men. And if indeed women are perceived as more trustworthy out of the gate, that’s a problem for male advisors competing for business head-to-head with female advisors. So, what do male advisors need to do to be seen as trustworthy?
Let’s start with the characteristics of trustworthy people – a quick online search indicates that trustworthy people share certain characteristics – they are: humble, good connectors, kind, compassionate, consistent, selfless and available. Not coincidentally, these are the traits of successful female financial advisors we talk to. Significantly – developing a reputation for trustworthiness is at the top of the list for successful male advisors! The hurdle though for many male advisors is how to be perceived as trustworthy right from the start. Our advice: get rid of your agenda, ego and bravado. You do not need to work at impressing anyone because if you are truly an authentic person, if you are more interested in helping your clients reach their goals than appearing “smart”, and if you do that consistently – trust comes automatically.
Trustworthiness is the edge female advisors have – they are intuitively good at earning trust because they rarely feel the urge to lead with their ego, they do not need to be the “winner” in every encounter, and they are happiest when they’ve helped a client achieve their goals.
It’s a mouthful but – “women are trustworthy because they behave in a way that builds trust” – it’s as simple and as complex as that. However if you start by remembering – It’s about the client – not you, you’re half way there.
Related: Do You Dare to Be a Winner?