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Gaining New Customers with Pilot Projects

It’s often difficult to get a company or a person to agree to do business with you.  It is much simpler to get them to agree to a mere pilot project.  Even if companies or individuals are unhappy with their current suppliers, they may be reluctant to sever the relationship and sign up with you – an unknown risk to them.  You can defuse that reluctance when you demonstrate the value for them of entering into a simple pilot project with you.

Pilot projects are very tempting to companies and to individuals because they allow these good people to see if you're as good as you say you are, without much risk.

The confidence you demonstrate in your product or service by offering through a pilot project does a great deal to build credibility with the potential customer.  If the project is a success you open the door to taking on a larger project, then a larger one still, and eventually, all the business.

It's tough to get an okay for all the new business.  It is far less tough to get an okay for a pilot project.  The concept of aiming for pilot projects may be applied as easily to a service business as a product business.  If you perform services, offer to perform them for only part of the customer's needs, not all of them.  Offer to perform them for a test period only, something like six weeks or so.  Maybe even less if you feel that less time will be enough for you to prove your worth and value.

If you sell products, ask the retail buyer (your customer) to give your products prominent display, proper signage, and ample shelf space during the limited time of the pilot project.  The buyer wants to know one thing - will your products produce profits? This simple pilot project will tell.

Guerrillas are wary of wooing new business by offering discounts -- because they know that customers who purchase by price alone are the least valuable.  Customers who purchase based only on price are more likely to be disloyal, expensive to maintain, and in the end, only fractionally as profitable as your loyal customers.  Guerrillas seek to attract and retail customers who stick around because of value, service, quality and selection.

Although it typically costs you six times more to sell something to a new customer than to an existing customer -- which is why guerrillas market so caringly and consistently to their customers -- there is a constant need to increase your customer base.  Pilot projects are rarely profit producers all by themselves.  But they open the door to a world where profits abound, a world where relationships are lasting. That's why savvy companies and individuals say "yes" to offers of pilot projects. These projects are inexpensive learning and high potential earning opportunities.

Once your prospects become customers, they're a source of profits for life – because Guerrillas know the crucial importance of non-stop follow-up.  The follow-up increases your profits while decreasing your cost of marketing. Remember, it's only one-sixth the cost of marketing to non-customers.

"If you're a small company, a new venture, or a single individual, you can use the tactics of Guerrilla Marketing to their fullest. You have the ability to be fast on your feet, to use a vast array of marketing tools, and to gain access to the biggest marketing brains and get them at bargain-basement prices."

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