This spring I have been helping my daughter coach a U12 soccer team; as a result I have been doing research on the internet about coaching fundamentals and drills. One theme that comes up frequently is the importance of teaching how to handle the touch of a soccer ball. An example of the importance of the first touch is explained on the Complete Soccer Guide website:
“Your first touch is, believe it or not, very important! It separates good players from great! If your first touch is bad, then the whole play is thrown off. So here is the First Touch guide. To get a good first touch you need to practice a lot! But first it is important to know what to do and what exactly you are doing. Getting a good touch means that whether the ball is in the air coming towards you, bouncing, or on the ground you can make a nice touch the exact way you want to go or settle the ball.”
The second theme that comes up consistently is the importance of the second touch; typically a pass, dribble or a shot. When coaching young soccer players it is very important to spend a significant amount of time working the fundamentals of first and second touch of the soccer ball.
In 2011 I have been spending significant time prospecting on the phone and attending local business events doing business development for POIM. In doing telesales and business development activities you quickly learn that sales is very much like soccer, you need the skills to execute the “first” and “second” touch with the customer.
Customer First Touch – I call the first touch a positioning statement; positioning statement provides direction or focus to a business or organization. It is a no nonsense statement of how your company is perceived in the minds of your target market. The first touch may also be referred to as the elevator pitch.
Key components of a position statement include:
– Who your business is: POIM Consulting Group
– What business you are in: We help companies improve sales and marketing effectiveness by helping them better manage relationships with existing and prospective customers.
– Who does your target market represent: We work with medium and large businesses across multiple industries, companies include Shaw, Ener-Spray, etc.
– What makes your business different from your competitors: We do this by being experts in customer relationship processes and partnering with CRM technology leaders like SalesForce.com.
Customer Second Touch – The second touch is about focusing your attention on the person you are speaking with, this is done through probing for a need. The goal of second customer touch is to seek to uncover information about the person you are speaking with or something about their business.
Probing question samples:
– What about you?
– Tell me something about yourself?
– Have you heard of CRM?
– Are you familiar with SalesForce.com?
Just like soccer it is very important that you master the skills of the first touch (position statement) and second touch (probe to need).