Pre-approach means getting more detailed information about the potential buyers. At the pre-approach stage, the salesman tries to collect some more information in addition to the background information gathered at the prospecting stage. Such additional information about the prospective customers includes their needs, habits, preferences, nature, behaviour, economic status, and so on.
These are the important information about the prospects which significantly influence their buying behaviour. A wise salesman attempts to obtain as much information as possible about the prospective buyers. Armed with all possible knowledge about the potential customers, the salesman can easily plan his sales campaign intelligently.
The more the salesman is aware of the potential customers, the better he is able to influence them through well-planned sales presentation. In other words, on the basis of adequate information about the prospects, a salesman is in a position to present the products or services he intends to sell in conformity with the need of the buyers.
In a nutshell, all the preparations that are made before personally approaching the prospects is called pre-approach. The salesman, by means of pre-approach tries to make a successful sales presentation on sound lines.
Few experts believe that once the prospecting is done thoroughly and all possible details of the prospects are obtained at this stage itself, there is hardly any need for adopting the second step of the selling process i.e. the pre-approach. On the face of it, the argument seems quite logical. However, from the practical point of view, it is always safe and better to include the pre-approach in the selling process.
This will enables the salesman to distinguish between ‘most likely and likely’ prospects and convert as many ‘prospects’ into ‘buyers’. Such a step also enables the selling organisation to concentrate all efforts and resources on genuine prospects.