Tuesday Tech Tip, January 7, 2014 Print
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 13:25


Developing your Sales Pipeline: Before the Approach


Last Tuesday Tech Tip we reviewed the Sales Process from Wikipedia listed as:


  1. Prospecting / initial contact
  2. Preapproach - planning the sale
  3. Approach
  4. Need assessment
  5. Presentation
  6. Meeting objections
  7. Gaining commitment
  8. Follow-up


We discussed the art of prospecting and avoided the common pitfalls.  Today’s Tech Tip has everything to do with the next step: the Preapproach.

Preapproaching is just what it says, what do you need to know before the approach.  My father is an amateur pilot, so this makes me think of the checks he runs through before approaching the runway.  There are certain gauges that he observes, judgments and corrections he must make, and communications and alignments that must be accomplished before he can approach the landing.

Essentially, this is what the Preapproach is all about.  You have driven interest to your product through marketing and possibly established your company as recognizable.   Now, it’s time to get a closer look at the people who might truly be interested in your product, not as a part of some number, but as an individual.  It is the individual who will make the decision, and it’s important to note who they are and what is driving their gut to lean one way or the other when making a selection.

Many people assess these personal attributes differently.  Some look at the socioeconomic status, age, habits, and so on.  Others employ some sort of personality assessment that can predict decision making attributes.   Whatever information you tend to collect it is for one purpose – get to know the person.  Find who this person is as an overall statement and do it in 10 minutes or less. 

You should be able to figure out from your quick research how they wish to be approached.  Are they formal?  Should you just walk right in?  You should know the motivation of this person, and understand the industry they operate within.  What kind of decisions do they have to make everyday?  What challenges them? 

At the end of this information gathering, a professional knows a little about the person, what that person must deal with on the day to day, how they like to be spoken to, and the greatest challenges they must encounter.  This gives the sales professional the least offensive demeanor, the best time of day to chat, the knowledge of industry challenges, and a high level grasp of the challenges the potential client might want to discuss. 

This is not the time to be thinking about a possible sale.  This is the time to get to know the person that works at the company you have marketed to.  This is the time to invest into building a relationship.  Everything else comes from the work you do here, because it’s the initial investment into being trustworthy and compassionate.