While logic would dictate that half of the human population is hardly considered a niche market, it seems that many insurance agents have tailored their sales pitch to male clients and need to reconsider their approach when working with women.
It’s no longer the 1950s when women were dependent on their husbands for financial security. According to Life Health Pro, the number of wealthy women investors in the U.S. is growing at a faster rate than that of men by nearly double. In addition, 45 percent of women manage their family’s finances, whereas only 37 of men can say the same. For that reason, life insurance agents need to make a special effort to ensure they are welcoming their female clientele.
“We’ve known for a long time that men and women are different,” Cynthia Tidwell, president and CEO of nonprofit membership organization Royal Neighbors, told Life Health Pro. “Thank goodness for that. If salespeople take the differences to heart and design their sales presentations accordingly, they have the opportunity to exceed their goals.”
What makes the concerns of women different from those of their male counterparts? First, and perhaps most importantly, women tend to live longer than men. Where men may be worried about leaving their loved ones behind without a source of income, women are more likely concerned that they will outlive their retirement savings. For this reason, they may be more open to the prospect of long term care insurance to cover their medical expenses later in life.
According to a recent poll from Pew Research, nearly 30 percent of mothers don’t work outside the home. If these women do not bring in a source of monetary income to their families, they may be hesitant to invest in life insurance. After all, their family would not be losing a paycheck if something were to happen to them.
However, agents need to explain to women with this point of view the value that they provide to their families. Salary.com recently calculated just how much a stay-at-home mom would be paid by breaking down their expected responsibilities – daycare teacher, psychologist, facilities manager and so forth – by what salary those positions would draw in the workforce. It found that an average stay-at-home mom works nearly 100 hours per week and should be paid nearly $120,000 per year. Providing female clients with these kind of hard numbers may help them assign a monetary value to what they bring to the family.
Selling to women
Of course, to say that “all women” behave in a specific way would be erroneous at best, just as saying all men would act in a certain manner. However, agents may find trends that are more prevalent in their female clientele or find certain sales techniques work better than others. One thing that should always be avoided, however, is condescension. When dealing with a high net worth individual – be it a man or woman – it’s almost certain that they have a reasonable amount of business savvy, and talking down to them is a quick way to lose a client.
No matter who the client is, listening to his or her specific needs and concerns for the future is the best way for insurance agents to tailor their products and pitch to the person sitting in front of them. Being a good listener isn’t just a trait agents should have when talking to women, while being a straight-shooter shouldn’t be limited to men.