You may remember the runaway bestseller in the 1990s entitled The Rules. Written by two woman dating coaches, it promised "time-tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr. Right."

It's time, I believe, to give a similar relationship manual to financial advisors, with a few small but important changes. As I said in this magazine last month, the object of financial advisors' affections is no longer just Mr. Right but Ms. Right, too. And it's not exactly her heart we are after, but her money. Whether she earns it, inherits it or both, she is on track for having more of it than he does by the end of the decade.

But as I also argued, Ms. Right may also be Ms. Hard-to-Get, unless we as a profession make some important changes in the way we advise and communicate with women. In this column, I want to offer some of what I've learned from psychology and marketing experts about how we might change. But more essentially, I draw from my own experience as a woman consumer and decision-maker. While it's taken me a lot longer than it took to get my CFP designation, I now understand what inspires my approval and trust, and the importance of speaking up about it.

So the following are my financial advisory "rules" for attracting more women like me. My guess is that for most readers of this magazine, I would be a very desirable woman client and worth listening to. I am single (a divorce is completely out of the way), professional and financially secure. I value and respect professional advice. But until a prospective advisor earns my respect by following these rules, I will probably withhold my trust.

Rule No. 1
Forget selling, including overtly selling yourself. My nose is extremely sensitive, and I can smell hyperbole a mile away. I usually react to it in two ways: I get irritated at being pressured, even if what you are selling is something I want and need, and I get afraid that I am being taken advantage of. The double bind here is I assume you assume that I do not know enough. And if there is one thing I HATE, it's looking or feeling dumb.

Rule No. 2
Talk money to me. Don't avoid the subject even if you believe that I might get emotional or fearful about it. So many advisors brag that they discuss everything but money with their clients-the kids, the vacation, good books, bad movies-as a way to build and strengthen the relationships. All I can say is, if I were to go to my car mechanic or endocrinologist (both experts in fields that are as arcane to me as finance may be to many women), and all we talked about was my life and the weather, I would not return for further chitchat. That's what Facebook is for.

Rule No. 3
Don't assume you know what I am thinking by my gestures or words. I may nod "yes," not because I am agreeing with you, but merely to signal that I am following you. (It is similar to my characteristically female use of the word "sorry." I am not apologizing, but simply being sympathetic.) If you want to know what I thought about our meeting, you might ask me to fill out a brief questionnaire afterward to give my honest feedback. This is a standard that is now used as a best practice in the psychological profession (which, by the way, apparently knows how to work with women, if the ratio of female clients to males is any indication). The value of the questionnaire is that it dispels the advisor's frequent assumption that it was a "great meeting" when it was not. It also signals that you care what I think.

Rule No. 4
Tell me who you are, not just what you do or have accomplished. I get that you are a CFP professional, an MBA, a CFA or whatever, but what I really want to know is why you are drawn to this profession. Tell me the story-your story-behind all those designations. Why are you an advisor specializing in women, in retirement planning, in investments, in whatever is your expertise? When I come into your office, I would enjoy seeing artwork or the photographs of the people and activities you care about more than seeing plaques or framed magazine covers telling me you were one of the top 500, 200 or 10 wealth advisors in the country.

Rule No. 5
Pay attention to detail and first impressions. According to recent scientific studies, my eyes are anatomically different from a man's. When I enter an office, I am more apt to register color and textures, while a man is sensitive to motion. So the big screen TV, tuned into CNBC with its scrolling prices or ESPN with its scrolling scores, is not as compelling to me as the d├ęcor. Furthermore, I will take more information in and try to process it into an overall impression, rather than compartmentalizing my reactions.

My impression will depend on whether I felt expected and welcome. I'll add points if your receptionist greets me by name, and even more points if your ladies' room goes beyond the necessary to the thoughtful: lotion, hairspray, tissues. If a spouse or partner accompanies me, I will give you an automatic "A+" if you ask whose name should come first on the contract or account application. If I am alone, I will be grateful if it is easy and stress-free coming to and leaving your office, if you give me a parking voucher or a walk to the elevator. But you will lose all those extra points and then some if you misspell my name or those of my family.

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