Approach: The 3rd Step of Selling Process (Made Easy)

What is Approach in Selling?

The approach in selling is the 3rd step of the selling process where a seller physically visits the prospects and makes the first contact. The seller makes the first impression with the prospects and seeks to know their actual desires.

In simple words, the approach stage is the set of activities a seller does after pre-approach activities. In this step, the main goal of the seller is to understand what such prospects need and makes them feel free to act the way they wanted to act and share their interests.

Similarly, the seller here gives a small introduction to his products/services. As in this step, the seller makes the first impression through face-to-face contact with prospects he is in a better position to know the customers in a much better way. It is better to be more educated about the prospects to make a good presence, also.

Preparing For Approach

Although, the seller has passed the previous step pre-approach of the selling process before entering to approach step. To make a contact with the potential customer here also has to be prepared for approaching.

So, How to be ready for making an approach?

Keeping in mind that, “the first impression is the last impression”, a salesperson should prepare himself for an impressive approach because a negative impression may prove a great barrier to developing new prospects. Such negativity at the very first stage may not be corrected despite continuous efforts by a salesperson.

Although a friendly smile, a firm handshake, warmth in speaking, or correct pronunciation help in making a positive impression during the first few minutes of the interview, the salesperson specifically needs to prepare himself/herself through fitness.

The appearance of a salesperson may create a positive or negative impression on the prospect’s mind. In order to make a personal appearance a valuable asset, the salesperson should keep his/her appearance neat and well-groomed. Instead of being poorly dressed or over-dressed, he/she should keep himself/herself appropriately dressed.

This means he/she needs to avoid looking like a fashion model too. Proper attire and a pleasant face not only give extra dignity to a salesperson but also build up his/her self-confidence during the first talk with the prospect. An effective dress can be an effective tool for an effective approach, and this includes the following:

Fitness of Dress

The fitness of the dress of the salesperson requires suited to his/her occupation, social status, age, size, geographic location. It does not mean that the customer’s social status and culture should not be taken into account. The best clue in this regard would be that salespersons should try to match their dress to their typical customers so that he/she will feel some affinity with the seller.

This sense of affinity will bring a customer to the state of expressing his/her needs and wants clearly because they feel comfortable with the salesperson quickly.

Fitness of Colour

The color of the dress that a salesperson wears also affects the customers’ psychology to a great extent. A matching color combination yields a positive perception of a customer while making a good approach. Unmatched color combinations in the dress of a salesperson may develop negative feelings in a customer and hence the prospect may not even like to see and talk to the salesperson.

Therefore a salesperson should choose a color combination in his/her dress matching to likes of his/her customer.

Fitness of Dress Style

We find various arguments for and against the fitness of style for the salespeople. If a salesperson is working in the fashion industry, he/she may use high-fashion wear and expensive clothes in the latest style. But various arguments are aird that even the models should wear stylish clothes acceptable to the societies.

Except in the case of the fashion industry, salespersons should avoid high fashion dresses. Instead, should wear classic dresses, suits, and accessories that are always acceptable.

Fitness of Colour Wear Accent

Although color fitness of dress has been explained earlier, fitness, of color in accenting wear has not been touched. A male salesperson should wear his dress with proper accent (matching) color. Suppose he wears a white shirt, he may wear gray pants and black shoes.

An alternative appropriate color accent may be a gray shirt, gray pants, and black shoes. Similarly, a saleslady may wear a yellow color sari, a red color blouse, and black color shoes. Alternatively, she could wear a yellow sari, a yellow blouse, and red shoes. But whatever color accent is chosen by the salesperson, it should be appealing and acceptable to prospects.

Fitness of Complementary Wear

The dress of a salesperson should complement his/her body build. Sometimes seeing the uncomplimentary clothing of a salesperson, the prospect may not even give an appointment to the salesperson. Hence, clothing should help in making customers/ prospects willing for an appointment and not for putting them off.

Making An Approach

It is a process of meeting prospects at a specific place for drawing their attention using different skills that salespeople possess and applying different methods.

Every salesperson should try to get the immediate attention and interest of a prospect by his/her look and appearance. As a prospect would be a busy person, he/she will determine the benefits of the interview in the first few minutes of talking to a salesperson. The first few minutes of the interaction are important for him/her for getting the attention and interest of prospects. The first few words the salesperson speaks help the prospects to determine the tone of entire sales calls.

That means the salesperson must be selective in studying prospects and using words when he/she interacts. Therefore, a good initial approach needs the following:

  • Good opening talk,
  • Indication of benefits to prospect,
  • Attention drawing statements, and
  • Assurance of not wasting prospects’ time.

Methods of Approaching

To make a good and effective approach, a salesperson can use one or more of mentioned methods,

Introduction Method

This method is the simplest method of approaching in which a salesperson starts a conversation with his prospects by introducing himself, his company, and products. In this course, he also gives his business card to the prospects.

Though this is the simplest method, in most cases it is less effective.

Referral Method

In the referral method, while making an interview with the prospects the seller introduces his satisfied customers as a reference to get more attention from potential customers. However, giving reference to previous satisfied customers the details should be searchable when a prospect seeks to know. I mentioned the names and details of the reference could not be found anywhere the prospect would not believe.

Benefit Method

Naturally, prospects will hear you when they feel they will get certain benefits from your products or services. Since benefits from the product are the first focal point of the customers, this method is most popular while making first contact with the prospects.

Free Gifts Method

In this competitive selling world, giving gifts to prospects while making first contact is becoming more effective nowadays. It creates an event where customers are ready to be part of your sales journey.

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