It is common knowledge that women are influential in decisions on money. They live longer, own more than half the nation’s wealth and represent nearly half of affluent investors. It is widely expected that two-thirds of privately held assets will be in the hands of American women by 2030.
Women make over 81% of all consumer purchases in the U.S. marketplace says Marti Barletta in the article “Big Economic Opportunity in Marketing to Women” in 2012. From Women Doing Well Research Project in 2012, they found that 91.9% of women report that they either singularly make the giving decisions or make the decision in collaboration with their spouse.
The importance of knowing how to communicate with women cannot be discounted. It is important to understand that women think and act differently than men. They have different priorities and will make a decision in a different manner. She also invests quite differently than a man. (In fact she is better at investing than men, says Institutional Investor.)
If you’re a non-profit or ministry, how do you more effectively communicate with your high-capacity women partners so that they respond to your efforts to increase their giving or enroll in a planned giving program?
1. Make her feel understood.
Women Doing Well states, “The more your female customer (donor) feels understood, the stronger her connection to you will be. The stronger the connection, the more likely she will be to give preference to your brand and rely on you and your organization.” Relationship building is not only a part of the process of selling your service or ministry objectives; it is the most important part of a sustainable customer/donor.
2. Understand her needs first.
If you want her to be a champion of your organization (tell others about it), you will need to understand her needs first. Women have a different language than men. If you understand her world- the process in which she makes decisions and seek to give her what she needs to process information, she will be a disciple of your organization and willingly participate in meetings and attend events.
3. Ask her questions.
Women build trust by showing interest and asking questions. If you reciprocate by asking questions yourself and showing an interest in her life and family, she will begin to trust you. Women want you to inquire about their daily lives, their wants and needs, their hopes and dreams. Conversation igniters might be:
• What does your typical day look like and are many of your days the same or do they change all of the time?
• Describe your dream day, vacation or family outing?
• What feeling do you experience when you think about your financial future?
• How important is security to you and what does it look like?
• What needs in society and around the world tug at your heart?
4. There is an opportunity to develop and build upon her natural inclinations to be a savvy steward.
She enjoys education, community and learning on her terms. Here are some more conversation igniters:
• How engaged do you want to be in your family finances?
• What financial tasks do you enjoy and want as a challenge?
• What worries you about your finances?
• As you grow in knowledge, how can I help you?
5. She wants to be a part of something larger than herself.
Her priorities are family and making the world and someone else’s life better. Women measure themselves in terms of relationships, the well-being of those in the circle and group around them. Being part of something bigger than herself is a motivator. Offer her opportunities to join a mission larger than herself and show interest in the relationships that are important to her already.
6. Bring a story to the balance sheet.
If you want to build a bridge to her, bring a story and meaning to the balance sheet. Think story before strategy. Goals and priorities should be linked to the purpose they will serve.
Questions to ask:
• Think ahead ten years. What does life look like? How do you want to relate to family then?
• What do you want your family legacy to look like?
• What do you want to accomplish in the rest of your life?
• What is the ideal future that you want for each of your children?
• What does making the world a better place look like for you?
• What causes are most important to you?
• Where do you volunteer your time?
• Where do you want to spend most of your time in the future?
7. The most important element of your communication with women customers/donors is LISTENING.
Validate her by repeating back what she has said. Write it down. Remember it and continue to restate it in future conversation. As you communicate with her and repeat back to her what she has stated it will help her clarify her feelings and goals.
“She will reward the organization with her economic vote, particularly among her friends, when she experiences your organization as a group that really ‘gets her’.”
Interested in partnering with Kardia to maximize your most valuable donors and ministry partners?
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring
about significant impact for His Kingdom.