The pre-approach step includes all the information gathering activities necessary to learn relevant facts about the prospect. It is an effort to get details regarding the prospect such as his ability, need, authority, accessibility to buy; it is a closer look of prospects, likes and dislikes, tastes, habits, financial status, social esteem, material status, family background
IMPORTANCE OF PRE-APPROACH
- Pre-approach helps in saving valuable time, effort and energy of the salesperson in the best interest of the organisation in which he works
- Pre-approach makes the salesperson more confident and enthusiastic while meeting the prospects and putting forth the sales proposition before them. The confidence and enthusiasm is the cumulative result of the detailed background information about the prospects collected during pre-approach.
- Pre-approach enables the salesperson to know beforehand about the needs and requirements of the prospects in the most detailed manner possible.
- By pre-approach, the salesperson’s knowledge about the prospects is considerably enhanced. As the salesman has prior information about the financial status, likes, dislikes, tastes. he is likely to commit the least number of mistakes at the subsequent stages of a sales presentation.
- the salesperson can plan out the sales talk in advance and present the same on systematic lines for assured success. A salesperson who has all possible socio-economic information about the prospects is better placed in handling the prospects.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION IN PRE-APPROACH
- Fellow Salesmen: Friendly relationship with other salesperson helps to add to the information regarding prospects. Other salespersons may disclose some useful clues about prospects and their wants.
- Customers: Customers, particularly satisfied customers are the most dependable source of information. The satisfied customers readily give the information in terms of the likes and dislikes, income status, family composition and so on.
- Market Survey Reports: Market surveys are conducted by companies whenever they need data of a particular locality.
- Dealers: Dealers especially retailers are the last link in the chain of distribution. They usually have close contact with customers. They know their customers totally in terms of temperament, buying behaviour, profession, purchasing power, and so on.
- Data Surfing: A salesperson could also get the data about the prospect by surfing through various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc.
Some sources of prospecting like bird-dogs, directories and spotters could also be used as a source of information in pre-approach. Other sources may be travel agents, garment cleaners, jewellers, petrol pump stations, garages and so on. All these sources appear quite petty but they are rich sources of information.