Really, what a pre-approach includes? The detailed information gathered in pre-approach differs from sale to sale. If the salesman is selling to an individual, his investigation confines to a person as a prospect. Contrary to this, if the prospect is a business house, the pre-approach encompasses the multi-dimensional facts about business house.
In case of an individual as a PROSPECT, the salesman is expected to know his name, age, educational level, occupation, social status, place of residence, place of working, interest in the product, or product line of the salesman, his ability and authority to buy, family composition, his group of friends and relatives and colleagues, appropriate turn to contact him or her personal peculiarities, hobbies, specific buying problems and how the salesman is going to solve them?
In case the PROSPECT is a business house or a unit irrespective of its type, the salesman is to know about the organization – as to its birth, teething troubles, ups and downs, founding father or fathers, the company personnel company directors, persons in charge of using the product or products, persons who have the final say in purchases, the company operations as to what it makes or sells? What markets it reaches? What is the plant capacity? What is the grade of company product? Technical details of production status of company in the industry are terms of the market share, capital market, labour market, technology. The buying practices of the company such as the systems and procedures of purchase department – sources of supply — reasons for relying on these sources as – whether the company is happy with the existing suppliers? How the sales person can help the company is solving the company problems, if any?
Last, but not the least, every salesman is to plan his visits and sales talks and decide on two things namely the extent and frequency of sales calls. In the light of these, he is to adjust his line in such a way that he is selected to cover only the milking cows for the benefit of himself and the company and the customer and customer organization.
In a nutshell, the biggest stumbling block to good selling is that salesman does not identify the right person to meet. Each and every salesman on every sales call should be able to identify the RIGHT MAN – the person who can be called or qualified as a prospector customer. That he, is to research and find out as to who is the ‘initiator’? Who is the ‘influencer’? Who is the ‘decider’? Who is the ‘official purchaser’? Who is the ‘user’ and so on?