How to Maximize 1-on-1 Financial Coaching Success

Introduction

Financial coaching refers to the process of offering regular 1-on-1 sessions with customers to achieve performance improvements that meet mutual goals set between the coach and client.
The purpose is to help clients attain their long-term financial goals through modern tools, techniques, and resources that are easily accessible almost everywhere.
Essentially, financial coaching focuses on targeted problem solving through monitoring one’s progress and forming new habits that contribute to savings in the long run.

How to Play an Active Role in Financial Coaching

Over the years, professionals have conducted extensive research on financial coaching.
Places such as the Financial Training Institute at the Singapore Management University offer competency certifications that bridge the gap between real-world examples and academic programs with extensive instructions.
Singaporeans aged 25 and above can opt for such programs with an opening credit of S$500. We can also leverage short online programs that various digital advisors offer, including the prestigious DBS Bank.
Also, parents and teachers are increasingly introducing students to the basics of 1-on-1 financial coaching, and industry experts can introduce relevant programs for young people.
It will allow them to achieve successful outcomes in their future monetary initiatives.

Challenges that Financial Coaches Encounter

Given the right tools and mechanisms, financial coaching is highly rewarding as it benefits clients and professionals alike.
However, like every other undertaking in an industry, it does not come without its challenges.
The first is to find a unique proposition. It is not simple, considering how many self-help resources on and off the Internet, robot advisors, and large companies are available to attract new clients.
It is essential to focus on one thing at a time and provide great customer service so that clients prefer a specific financial coaching company over another.
Operation maintenance is another aspect to take into account.
In addition to planning and developing business operations, especially during COVID-19, presenting an overall structure that effectively defines customer dealings takes significant time.
For financial coaches, the ability to provide services at their earliest comes into the equation, and this is the hour of need for organizations struggling with money problems.
The costs involved in starting and running our businesses may also be too high, especially for us with insufficient capital. These typically consist of expenses that cover licensing, training, as well as rental space, among others.
Moreover, if money is not on our side, getting finances together may prove to be an uphill battle for coaches.
Interestingly, generating increased profits and revenue is not as easy as one believes.
Clients request consultations on a wide range of topics such as tax planning, insurance, real estate, and improving credit scores, particularly during these uncertain times.
While financial coaches can up-sell simply by offering more services, it is necessary to study the latest materials on finance as well as stay updated on the latest trends, tools, and techniques.
This is the only way they can attain an edge over the competition, and becoming a master at everything them to invest in time, effort, and money.

Using Technology to Improve Financial Coaching

In this digital age, technology is necessary for managing money-related tasks.
Consider the growing popularity of smartphones and computers in busy Singaporean public places where people access the materials they need. The proliferation of the Internet has increased user access to technology and online resources, making office visits almost outdated.
This is on the rise in an era where COVID-19 calls for social distancing and work from home practices. Coaches must shift from brick-and-mortar to remote work so that they can continue offering their services to clients.
Incorporating services with cloud and VPN technologies allow them to reduce the costs associated with onsite operations, and improve overall service delivery online.
Examples of popular technological approaches include:

1. Change Machine

It is an online platform and my personal favourite.
It enables experts to learn the best financial coaching practices, access tools, methodologies, and documentation to coach clients, and network professionally on the Internet.
It also enables coaches to proactively track progress, interact, and communicate with clients through business websites.

2. Text Messaging Reminders

Research suggests that while we can pay maximum attention within a given time frame, non-immediate concerns lose priority to more pressing matters.
A text reminder is an efficient and cost-effective strategy for following through on a task that a financial coach assigns to a client.

3. Online Courses and Webinars

One-on-one online instruction is increasing as professionals leverage communication and project management channels like Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom to collaborate.
Things are no different where financial coaches are concerned, and they even incorporate webinars into their service delivery.
A webinar is a pre-recorded, one or two-hour program that conveys information in a presentation format.
It reduces the cost of travelling and increases flexibility for coaches who are seeking training as well as clients wishing to access informative, up-to-date materials.
Active listening and sophisticated visual communication tools and features make all this possible.
Mentors and clients can build confidence, trust, and rapport via real-time response and interaction with the help of such applications.

Investing in Target Research and Expanding Training

A recent survey by Statista reveals that as of September 2018, Singaporean millennial has not started planning their finances.
Projections show a list of major reasons that go beyond a lack of disposable income. They include uncertainty of where to begin, having only enough money to meet everyday needs, a preference of living in the moment, and delays caused by financial planning.
It means that those aged 24 to 39 must understand the importance of budgeting and save for future needs, which, in turn, is only possible through training and awareness.
To expand on training, some institutes offer learning series that run for approximately three hours. For instance, the Singapore Polytechnic Institute for Financial Literacy provides a personal course on investing and money management.
We can also explore similar options and opt for an institute that meets their unique money-related requirements.

Capitalizing on Data Collection and Development Opportunities

By conducting research and taking advantage of development opportunities, mentors can teach clients to manage their money smartly and improve debt ratio.
Organizations are adapting their marketing strategies based on what they learn about their clients through data collection. This often involves a team of experts conducting extensive primary and secondary research.
By incorporating data collection into their services, coaches can encourage clients to develop healthy money habits that reflect their long-term goals.
Typically, the process consists of dialogue with clients in the first few sessions. Coaches can help us reach constructive conclusions through a logical series of questions related to budgeting, savings, credit, goal setting and debt management.
The purpose is to manage our future expectations accordingly so that our coaches know what they need to work with us on.

Risk Management

Coaches assist clients with risk management which refers to the process of planning, preparing, and taking necessary action on our investments.
It is a useful skill to have, especially during dire circumstances such as those imposed by COVID-19, or when a client’s source of income is cut.
To reduce the risk of sinking into financial debt, experts encourage us to keep our goals in mind and utilize smart debt management strategies.
Common examples are paying off credits cards with the highest interest rates first and considering less aggressive investment approaches or portfolios.
For clients struggling to get out of debt, coaches often reach out to their lenders in an attempt to lower interest rates.

Continuity Income

We are all interested in having our business models support continuity income which is paid on a fixed schedule, including weekly, monthly, or annually.
The process is frequent and automatic, and there are no service delays.
Experts teach us to charge our products and services upfront while breaking down customer payments into manageable chunks. For example, assume we sell a solution priced at S$1200, and we offer our clients a yearly agreement at S$100 each month.
There is a possibility that they will choose the second option as it is a lower price hurdle to overcome.
This tactic allows us to be more flexible while increasing conversions and generating more revenue for our businesses.