A jerk is defined as someone whose behavior is offensive to others and, while we are probably all guilty of behaving badly at one time or another, the problem is we usually don’t know how we come across until someone points it out to us. But that does not mean we are beyond reproach.Quite naturally most advisors will tell you they would never be offensive to a client. And, not surprisingly, probably very few have ever been called “a jerk” to their face by a female client – most women are too polite for that. But, when we talk to women, they frequently use the “j” word when telling us why they left a certain advisor – or why they didn’t sign-up with the advisor who cornered them at an event. We are pretty sure none of those advisors would identify their actions as “jerky” – yet women saw it that way.The disconnect arises from the fact that what women consider “jerky” behavior may not align with what the advisor thinks is bad behavior towards a client.
These are a few real stories – in each case, the advisor didn’t consider their behavior as offensive to these women.
- spent a whole evening at an event talking about himself and what a great advisor he was.
- suggested to one of his best clients that she call his assistant – because he was too busy.
- told an 80-year client that she could look up her account online.
- ignored the wife who was the sole contributor to the investment account and spoke only to her husband.
- Bragged about how well he had done for her husband with their account in an effort to retain the account when she was widowed.
- attended a client’s funeral and handed out his business cards to people.
- So what’s the take away? First think about how you connect with your female clients – have you ever been guilty of any of these behavior or anything similar? If you’re not sure, maybe it’s time to have an honest conversation with her. Women do like to share and it may be as simple as asking her how you could improve your communication with her.
It takes some time and a bit of work but lauding your services on your website is not enough.Instead, try the following to show that you care.
- Listen without interrupting.
- Explain things in plain language.
- Arrange meetings convenient for her rather than you.
- Do a personal favor for a client you like.
- Send business, if you can, to an entrepreneur who is a client.
- Handwrite a personal note to a client who recently lost her husband.
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