Depending what industry vertical you are in, there will be different techniques to expand your customer base. In 2005, I had zero customers. Now we have thousands. Our chartered accountant has 250 customers, and he says were are pretty different than most companies. He says that most companies invoice the same customers over and over again, and maybe keep them same dozens over the years. That would be the most common. But as a service based company, we need new prospects in the funnel, and we need to convert those leads into sales. While we try to keep our customers in the funnel, and keep them and returning customers, or re-occuring customers, that will only represent 20% of our billing cycle. So, getting new customers has become an art for us. How did we do it? How could you do it? Imagine a funnel. The mouth of the funnel is very wide, and it becomes thinner at the bottom. Imagine your customers dripping through that funnel into your bank account. It's quite the visual yes? Let's look at the traditional model of prospecting. Cold-Calling, Direct Mail, Newspaper Advertisement, Radio, TV, Trade-Show Marketing, Hiring a rep with an existing customer base (hiring away from your competition), expanding your sales force,pay-per-click advertisement or search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media, public relations campaign, email marketing, networking, purchasing lists, fax marketing, automated dialing, affiliate marketing,joint-venture partners,hire an inside sales group, event marketing, sponsorship marketing, and so on. The big question, is what type of budget do you have, what type of time do you have to implement and monitor the campaigns, and what type of conversion strategy do you have in place? If you are a small to medium type enterprise, the issue may be your cash flow, and/or you don't have time or money to invest to train others, never mind yourself. But thevery fact that you are reading this article, tells me you need to generate more sales and expand your customer base. So where do you start? Start investing in the free stuff: Update your linkedin profile and optimize it. Deliver value on your account, and beginthe process of getting recommendations on here. People are generating business on Linkedin, including us, so go where your customers are. If you are a business to business product or service, I highly recommend that you start here today. If you are a business to consumer type based product, get the cyberdust off of your facebook account, and start monetizing it. Build your fanpage, build your list because the money is in the list. You can purchase an auto-responder for less then $100 dollars, and it could be the best investment you ever made. Install it on your website and/or fanpage and start capturing names and phone numbers and/or emails on your website. If your website doesn't have a conversion strategy, learn how to create one. Fast. Your leads and sales are going to your competition as we speaksimply because your website is not acting like a sales rep. Your site should be collecting your customer/lead data. You may be surprised how far your dollar can stretch. Again, if you never advertised on those mediums before, learn how, there is plenty of great information on line. You may have to do a bit of trial and error, but if you want to cut to the chase, get training from someone with proof it works. The money is truly in the list, and if you wish to expandyour customer base, you have to re-think your funnel system. Our greatest method of expanding our customer base include trade-show marketing and presentation marketing. There are some insider tips andexpert advice to doing this successfully, however,event marketing has been key for us torocket our sales. We've also joined thegame of radio advertising. This is new to us this year, and we are testingour ROI. It's not as highly targeted as our social media and internet marketing campaigns, but we are seeing alternative benefits to the type of success we've achieved before. However, theprice of playing the radio game is alot more expensive then playing the social media game. Thus, my recommendation is put your efforts into reaching your customers online first, especially if youhave a limited budget. None of these plans will work if you don't know how to convert your leads into sales. So, think itthrough, what is your sales funnel? And once your lead drips into this funnel, where do they go? What is their experience? If you don't close the first time, where does this lead go then? What's the next move on your part to convert that lead into a sale? There is a world of possibilities, you must design a plan that fits your business and lends itself well to your industry vertical. If you are deeply committed to growing your customer base, you'll get it done. You just have to plan if you will grow this organically, or boost it through paid mediums. Having trained over 22 thousand business owners in the past 4 years, the training company offers a suite of business training helping small and medium size business experience rapid growth using social media and internet marketing platforms. We teach business owners how to become customer acquisition experts. His popular free marketing tips magazine is read by thousands of business owners around the world in more than 47 countries.