The Customer-Product Four-Square

If sales and marketing were exact sciences, we would need more technicians than strategists. Neither area follows hard and fast rules, but rather best guesses based on statistics. But you have some fundamental information to get you started. You’ve got something to sell (a product or service) and the people who are likely, willing, and able to buy.

Depending on how you pair your products, services and prospects, you will have different marketing challenges. It is always easiest and least expensive to sell to your existing clients, because the relationship is established. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t venture beyond there. You will probably add new items to your offerings and those people who have bought in the past are your best choice for a quick sale. But what other scenarios exist? Here’s a Customer-Product Four-Square that diagrams that four different pair-ups and how they can challenge and benefit your business:

Existing Customers / Existing Products

  • Lowest cost
  • Need to ensure penetration and ownership for re-purchase
New Customers / Existing Products

  • Extension of your existing product knowledge to meet new customers/niches
  • Consider extending into customer “types” (business types or job title types)
Existing Customers / New Products

  • Leverage existing relationships to Introduce/upsell to new products
  • Utilize existing client relationships to meet new prospects
New Customers / New Products

  • The most expensive option
  • Typically the longest investment cycle because you have to learn new markets and new products


Where are you in this schematic? Are you in more than one place? Most businesses will—and should—be. Think about where you are and where you want to go. Then use this information to start the conversation for planning your strategy.


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