At this point you now have compiled a list of qualified buyers (perhaps five to ten firms or even more) that you think are likely buyers of your firm’s products. The next step is to prepare your approach to these companies. To do this, you will attempt to identify possible problems in the customer’s firm where your product could provide a solution. At this stage you would also consider various selling objectives which take into account the marketing environment and the specific situation of the customer’s firm.

But you are far away from the potential buyer; where will you get the information to prepare your preapproach strategy? Well, the Internet is a good place to start. Most companies today have a website and the website may reveal a lot about the firm that will help you decide how best to approach them. If there is a South African trade representative in the country in question, you may want to approach your representative and ask them to obtain company brochures and any other relevant information from the firm. You might ask the same of the local chamber of commerce in the city where the buyer is located. Alternatively, you could try accessing buyers’ directories which you could obtain from your trade representative, or the foreign trade mission in South Africa, or from the chamber of commerce, or from the Internet. You might just want to phone the company and ask them to send you this information.