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Marketing New Product Categories to Existing Clients

We recently added several lines of business and are focusing our efforts on marketing them to existing clients. It’s much easier to farm an existing customer base versus adding new clients.

We recently decided to add four lines of business (lighting control, lighting fixtures, motorized shades, and landscape lighting) and are focusing our efforts on marketing them to existing clients. It’s so much easier (and cost effective) to farm an existing customer base versus adding new clients.

Image: Thinkstock

Just to be clear, we’ve been in the lighting control and motorized shade business for years but never had a dedicated facility to host buyers and specifiers. To kick things off, we’re converting an old office in Livewire’s Design Center into our new lighting and shading showcase. A big thank you to Gerard Lynch with System7 for focusing my mind around this one. Imagine a room where all the walls are covered with shade options, controlled by simple lighting controls, and lit with LED fixtures in the ceiling from companies like Lutron and Colorbeam. We’re seeing a ton of low-voltage lighting going into new construction right now, and we’ve been missing out on those sales opportunities. In short, our new showcase will be a profit center for lighting control, shading, and fixtures. Our manufacturers have stepped up in a big way to make this possible, and I challenge you to think about your own showrooms in the same way. Are there places in your current building that aren’t making you money?

Next on the docket is a complete revision of the way we address outdoor audio/video. Specifically, we just upgraded our landscape sound system to a James Loudspeaker system (it sounds amazing) with custom paint and finish options. We’re also adding outdoor lighting to our product mix as well. It’s all low-voltage LED, and companies like Coastal Source make it easy for integrators to get in the game. Coastal Source offers complimentary design services that go a long way to easing fears of getting into a completely new business line (I don’t know about you, but we’re not lighting experts, and that’s always scared us away from the business). Their products allow the seamless combination of speakers and lighting fixtures on the same run of low-voltage cabling. Better yet, outdoor audio and lighting allow 45-point-plus gross-margin projects that help to offset lower margin efforts.

We have hundreds of clients to whom we can market our new lighting control, shading, outdoor lighting, and sound packages. With very little effort, we anticipate adding another $1 million in revenue this year with these four new product offerings. Because each new product line bolts on naturally to our core home technology business, our marketing expenses will be extremely low, and our initial customer acquisition cost will be non-existent. If we excel in these new areas, then those categories are sure to grow via customer referral in the same way that our original business did at the beginning.

Have you added any new lines of business? How’s it going?

Stay frosty and see you in the field.