What Women Want

Growing with HNW women clients is not a fad, niché or segment. It’s a target market and opportunity to grow your practice!

About the author

Paula Carlson

20+ years of experience in driving high net worth client acquisition and retention for wealth advisors and firms across the country.

It’s a wide open frontier just waiting for you -

Grow your business with HNW women* clients by giving them what they want: R‑E‑S‑P‑E‑C‑T

*Women clients include current clients, prospective clients, married, partnership, single, divorced, etc.

* Intended audience for this blog is both female and male advisors.

Growing with HNW women clients is not a fad, nor a niché and certainly not a segment. It’s a target market and opportunity to grow your practice.

Today, your financial advisor peers are investing only 11% of their marketing resources on women in spite of all the hype on the subject for many years. The good news? It leaves the market wide open for you with a wealth ofopportunities. (1)

Why women? They are more open to your advice, interested in financial planning and provide over double the number of qualified introductions than male clients.

In 1967, Otis Redding wrote Aretha Franklin’s signature song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T (2). The woman Aretha sang about said she was going to give her man all of her money and the only thing she wanted in return was a little respect.  

Not much has changed since 1967. According to the white paper (1) by StrategyMarketing.ca, 73%of women are unhappy with the service they are receiving from the financial services industry. The primary complaint? Women feel they are treated with disrespect and patronizing attitudes bytheir wealth manager. (3)

One of my exceptional wealth management clients had three HNW women leave his practice in 2020 after the death of their husbands. He couldn’tbelieve it. They just up and left, didn’t say a word and had their new advisor contact him to transfer their files.

While they had all been clients for 10+ years, the women rarely attended any meetings. When asked why, my client said they weren’t interested and didn’t participate in the conversations. I asked him if he treated them with respect and he said he treated everyone the same, with a high level of respect. Yet he didn’t even know the preferred contact method for each woman.

So who is to blame? No one! Most don’t realize they aren’t treating their female clients with respect. The industry has been male‑dominated since inception and many marketing materials and messages still use language and messaging targeted at male  clients. Today advisors continueto meet with only the husbands and might also have a social relationship with him, making the wife feel even more distant when she does attend a meeting as the men talk about their commoninterests and connections.


Jayne Ellegard
Jayne Ellegard, CFP MBA | Founder & Coach | Ellegant Wealth

Join us for theinaugural Momentum Showcase on Feb. 16 from 3:30 to 4:00 featuring Jayne Ellegard from Ellegant Wealth. We’ll have a conversation on how you can retain and acquire new HNW clients by providing them the respect theywant and the education they need.

The Top 5: How you can capitalize on this opportunity

How do you unlearn the ingrained messages and increase your retention and acquisition ofHNW women clients?

1.   Start with re-writing the Golden Rule, the principle of treating others as you want to be treated:
“Treat women as they would like to be treated.” You’ve heard me say it hundredsof times, “Their perception is your reality,” so start walking in their shoes today and you will immediately experience a deepening of your relationships with your women clients.

2.   Be transparent. Talk with your women clients about your interest in serving them the way they want. Ask them what’s most important when communicating with you that is responsive to their questions and attentive to their needs and dreams.

3.   Ask, don’t guess. Never, ever assume or guess what women want. HNW clients want at least four feedback opportunities, one formal survey like a Survey Monkey and three informal opportunities in person, over the phone, following an event, etc.

4.   Listen, listen, listen and ask for clarification when you don’t understand where they are coming from – they won’t think you are asking a dumb question, they’ll think you really care.

5.   Demonstrate that you care about them “beyond the numbers” by providing financial education andsocial events outside of scheduled meetings.


Start implementing the plan below to grow with HNW women clients. It should include how to differentiate you from your competitors, retain your best HNW women clients and inspire introductions from them.


1.   Implement the Top5 above.

2.   Reach out via phone to a handful of your top women clients with whom you have the closest relationship regarding your want to improve at serving them. Ask them for their advice - they'll be thrilled to give it to you. Let them know you will be sending out a data gather tool to your women clients to learn more about how you can overcome the biases and serve them the way they want.

3.   Send an email to your top women clients regarding the gaps in serving them the way that want to be. Let them know that a “data gather” tool will arrive shortly and that it would be most valuable for them to respond.

4.   Conduct the data gather, aka survey, using a tool like Survey Monkey. Let them know that the information is confidential and will only be communicated in an aggregate manner to those who respond.

Note: Refrain from using the word survey as there is a severe amount of “survey fatigue” in our society. Survey also implies that you are interested in knowing about you versus understanding what they want.

5.   Analyze the results with your team and determine the changes you are going to make in response to their feedback.

6.   Keep the changes you are going to make top of mind by posting in all team member offices.

7.   Send a communication to the women invited to complete the survey that outlines the changes you are going to make.

8.   Provide two events for your best women clients – one that is related to financial education and one that is just for fun (wine tasting, cooking class, etc.).

9.   After 90 days of implementation, reach out via phone or virtual meeting to your best women clients to see if they have noticed the changes you promised to implement.

10.  Celebrate your success with your team and the women clients who helped you change your game.

Wondering how the above will inspire introductions from your HNW women clients? They will talk about:
  • What you are doing to serve them the way they want to be served
  • How you are treating them with the fullest respect and no condescension
  • What a thoughtful listener you are and that you care beyond the numbers

There’snot a woman in the world who wouldn’t be interested in learning more about you and your team!

Questions? Need a soundingboard? Want to brainstorm? Please reach out via phone/text at 612-803-9554 oremail at paula@momentum‑driven.com. Or, I would love to see you on my calendar for a 30 minute strategic marketingintake. Sign-up at https://calendly.com/paulaatmomentum.

My best to success for you! Paula


 (1) JoAnne Sommers, Investment Executive (online), How to attract women clients.

(2) Fun Facts: Otis Reddinginitially recorded Respect but received lackluster response. He asked ArethaFranklin to record it because he felt she had the voice it needed and it becamean incredible hit. Aretha was also the person who came up with spelling out RESPECT.

(3) Judy Paradi and PauletteFilion, StrategyMarketing.ca, Why Women leave their financial advisors andhow to prevent it.

(4) Ruth Ackerman, InvestmentNews, Women & Investing: Why many advisers are missing out.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Inspiring Introductions Via Advisory Boards

Read more
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The 5 W's of HNW Marketing

Read more

Get Engaged

When you’re ready to engage, we’ll provide you with a contract for success outlining your goals and marketing solutions.

Start a Conversation
Request our MOMENTUM MINUTE, a monthly email offering high value client marketing tip sheets delivered directly to your inbox.
Paula Carlson
Chief Momentum-Maker
4951 W 77th St. Ste 29
Edina, Minnesota 55435
Copyright © 2020 Momentum Driven. All rights reserved.
Site by Textile Creative Studios