For the cash flow coach, the ideal client is one that is fully aware of the benefits cash flow management brings, accepts the role of the cash flow coach and actively participates and is accountable for their cash flow coaching journey.
The trap that many cash flow coaches fall into is assuming that each new client or even those individuals you have been working with for a while are coming from this perspective. Unfortunately, it is rare that this ‘perfect client’ will present themselves to a cash flow coach in practice.
Cash flow coaches know that clients come to consultations, especially initial discussions, with different behaviours, motivations and intentions. These can be classified into three different client types.
Someone who doesn’t recognise the need for change
A Visitor thinks things are fine just the way they are and does not recognise there are any issues or problems to address. Visitors can seem rather laid back and maybe in denial about the need for change. Their responses to questions will be based around an attitude of everything is fine; I’m doing quite well. They will be agreeable in nature and seem engaging. However, this will typically be just lip-service without any real desire to understand their situation or what they can do to change and improve.
Typically, the reason you will be talking to a Visitor is that they have been referred by a friend, colleague, family member etc.
Sometimes Visitors can be seen as lacking in motivation, willingness or the desire to cooperate. They can come across as disenchanted and disengaged. They are largely content to "just show up" and do the minimum required.
From a behavioural perspective, Visitors can be quite guarded because of the possibility they will be asked to change something about themselves. And at this stage, they simply don’t recognise any real reason for change.
Visitors amble along without urgency and with little desire to change. Interacting with a Visitor with a sense of urgency and a fast pace will be off-putting for them. In their mind they are thinking; “What’s the rush – Where’s the fire”?
What’s worse is they may resist your coaching and continue to persist with their “she’ll be right” attitude and behaviour. Unless you move at their pace, it will be hard to assist them to move forward. It is difficult to engage with a Visitor if you become disappointed, impatient or frustrated.
Instead, look for the Visitors positive traits and strengths and comment and highlight them. Positive feedback is more likely to engage a Visitor and create awareness for change. Criticism will have the opposite effect.
Someone who recognises a problem but who does not want to act
It is generally easy to ‘spot’ a Complainer. They definitely know a problem exists and they are happy to tell everyone about it. However, when confronted with potential solutions and remedies they will typically respond with
reasons they can’t do that;
why it won’t work; and
others are to blame (e.g. the taxation system is unfair; my kids want a new play station etc.)
Complainers don’t see why they should change their own behaviour. They are not part of the problem – the issue is external to them - it's someone else's fault or something else is to blame. They are finger-pointers and can fall into the "victim-mentality" trap.
Fundamentally, Complainers lack the awareness that they need to do something to address the things they are complaining about. Despite their frustrations and worries, they are not yet ready to make changes. They are sometimes labelled as ‘resistant to change’. However, cash flow coaches recognise that this is not the case and that they are just powerless to change. The coach’s role is to provide them with the abilities, skills and resources required to act and progress.
Compared to Visitors, Complainers move at a faster pace. The problem is that they don’t always expend their time and energy in a productive manner. The cash flow coach’s job is to transition the Complainer to a Customer – someone who, in recognising the problem, does something proactive about it – not just whinge!
The choice of language is important with Complainers. Reframing the complaints, barriers and negatives into positive statements is crucial. This provides a focus on the things that they want to happen and achieve, leading to goals and actions that will get them there.
Remember that Complainers have a self-belief that they are helpless and passive victims. Therefore, don’t give them tasks to complete. Suggestions on what they should do will be countered with responses on ‘why it’s impossible to do that’ and ‘yes, but …..’
The cash flow coach’s alternative is to work with them to come to a conclusion for themselves. The language needs to be passive and indirect – “What is occurring now that you would like to see continue?”. “What would help the situation?”
Someone who recognises a problem AND is ready to act
Working with Customers is where cash flow coaches want to be. A Customer recognises the need for change and is driven to achieve change themselves. In short, they want to roll up their sleeves, start changing habits and move to a more financially sustainable and secure place.
As a cash flow coach, you may give them direct tasks and have confidence that they will see the benefit of the task and be self-accountable in achieving it.
Behaviourally, Customers are highly motivated to change their own habits. With an understanding of what is required, they accept they have to put in the hard yards to get there.
As you start working with Visitors and Complainers, you will start to see Customer tendencies. Goals will start to form, but the ability to express them or to move into the sphere of actions to achieve the goals may not quite be there yet.
Pacing yourself to the person's situation can assist them in framing their goals in a way that suits their preferences and style. Making them a Customer.
People will shift back and forth between the three states of Visitor, Complainer and Customer over time and in different contexts. Working with Customers is ideal - your task as a cash flow coach is to set the goals, then point them in the right direction and just get out of their way!
elevateB provides the training program as well as support and ongoing development for certified cash flow coaches. Individuals who choose to work with a certified cash flow coach are better placed to achieve financial independence and security. If you would like to make a difference and help everyday Australians be more financially prudent and savvy, consider becoming a cash flow coach today. Click here.