The Best Customer for a New Product or Service Is an Existing Customer
Existing customers are the best target for new products, new services or new pricing. Existing customers have already shown that they are able and willing to give you money. Your products and services have already proven themselves to be of interest to these customers, and your pricing has, at least in the past, met their requirements. So when you need to increase revenues, start your marketing efforts with your existing customers. Contact them by phone, email, fax or flyer based upon what has proven effective in the past. Consider bundling new products and services with ones they have purchased in the past to create higher value and higher profit sales.
Existing Customers Can Sometimes Be Your Best Connection to New Customers
Every customer has friends, coworkers and business associates who are ideal candidates for your products and services. One reason that pens, calendars and key chains are great marketing tools is that they are seen by people who know your customers.
Occasionally you can ask customers to make direct referrals to you. If you offer a two-for-one special to your customers, they have the opportunity to give a gift to someone they work with or work for. This can introduce you to new customers quickly.
The danger inherent in trying to connect to new customers through existing customers is that existing customers may be offended at having to play any role in your marketing efforts. Offering deep discounts on products and services, like two-for-one discounts, can be a very bad strategy if the design of your promotion doesn't deliver a huge increase in paying customers.
Reaching Out to Competitor's Customers
Usually your customers are your best avenue to increased sales and new customers. But your competitors are a great source of customers as well. Agreeing to honor your competitor's coupons and special pricing is a great way to bring new customers into your factory. You may also find that placing ads where they place them works well. If your competitors routinely run ads in the local newspaper, local phone book, or on a specific website, your ads in those locations should be slightly larger and they should offer a specific benefit to customers coming from other businesses.
Reaching Out to New Customers
It is possible to design marketing efforts that reach out to new customers. For example, if you can find other products and services your customers use with your product or service, you may be able to find a way to market through those products and services. For example, a company that sells organic baby foods may find value in marketing through a diaper service that specializes in using only all-cotton diapers. Customers interesting in one product are likely to be interested in the other.