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The Birth of a Salesman (Sort of)

It sounds rather silly, but one of the things I’ve always had a tough time with is “selling myself”, or my skill-set, to other people. It’s probably in part due to how my parents, who are both extremely humble, raised me growing up.

Before the United Soccer Coaches conference this weekend in Philadelphia, my first ever, I spoke to my friend Dan who works in sales, about any tips he might have for trying to get coaches interested in the app.

Dan sells high speed Internet to people all across North Carolina, and is one of the best at what he does. I knew that even if I only learned one thing from him, it would be a step up from what I knew about sales.

He said the first thing he does when he call a potential customer is he asks them if they have the product that he’s trying to sell. Depending on the answer of the customer, he will either ask:

1.) How much do you pay for it.


2.) How can you not have (insert product name here)?!

I decided to give it a try.

While working the booth, I’d ask the coaches if they had any player monitoring software that they used with their teams. If they did, I asked how much they paid for it (typically between $2000-3000), and how they liked it.

If they didn’t, I asked if they knew how their players were feeling before they planned a training session, or picked their starting 11 for a match.

I found that after I asked the initial question, I stopped trying to sell my app, and instead became fascinated with the coach and their circumstances.

Did they have a competitive or casual training environment? Did they have a small or large budget? How much did the coach value the well-being of his or her players? Were they a large club or small club?

Instead of just trying to sell the app because I wanted to make sales (which obviously I do), I became consumed with seeing if the app would benefit the coach I was having the conversation with.

Each coach had different circumstances and wanted different things. Some loved the attendance feature because they hated having players not show up for training. A few really liked the messaging feature, because they despised having to create group chats with their team. They all loved the player readiness feature.

It was fascinating how each coach found a different aspect of the app that would directly benefit their club.

When I looked beyond the coach as a customer, and instead saw a person trying to do their best for their players, it was much easier for me to relate and show them how SoccerPulse could help them solve that problem.

I think as coaches, it’s important for us to take this same approach with our players. Every player is different and has different circumstances that they deal with each day. What helps us to coach them most effectively is to see beyond the player and understand the person too.

Knowing that a coach is invested in your well-being can be a big boost for a player, and make training and development that much more enjoyable.

I think inadvertently, SoccerPulse has become a coaching tool that connects coaches with their players on a personal level. It shows the player that not only do you care about their on field performance, but you also care about their entire being.

THAT is a powerful tool.

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