Selling to non-consumers: How to turn non-consumers to customers

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What are non-consumers?

Non-consumers are individuals or firms that could potentially buy products or services, but are not currently doing so. You can think of them as possible customers – someone who may be interested in products that your industry sells, but is not currently buying it.

Why don’t non-consumers purchase?


One of the most common reasons why non-consumers are not buying a product that they would benefit from is the associated costs. They may determine that the benefits are simply not worth it. Or they may be unable to afford the product at its current price point.


Another reason why non-consumers may not be buying the product is that the features do not quite align with their needs. Possibly this segment of the market has more unique needs that do not quite align with their demands. Or possibly there are certain product characteristics of existing products that make the current offerings incompatible with the non-consumers demands.


A final reason why there may be a group of non-consumers is that this segment of the market may not have awareness of the products available. Potentially this group is not currently targeted in advertising, and in turn, has not actively considered the product.

The opportunity of selling to non-consumers

The key opportunity of selling to non-consumers is there is an un-tapped market segment that could potentially be converted to buying your products or services. By tailoring your goods or services to meet this market, you can potentially capture a blue ocean with limited competitive pressures.

Things to keep in mind when selling to non-consumers

Identify the reasons why non-consumers are not buying

One of the most important parts of selling to non-consumers is identifying why they are currently not buying. This may involve speaking to non-customers to ascertain the reasons why they have not considered the current products.

Configure your operations around targeting this segment

Once you have identified the reasons that non-consumers are currently not buying, think about ways of reconfiguring operations to meet this segment of the market. Depending on the reasons that they are not currently buying, this may involve some significant changes to the operations – potentially devising a new way that a version of the product can be provided with different features or at a fraction of the original cost.

Be aware of other firms that can move to also target this market

As with all major strategic moves, it is important to consider whether other firms will respond or not to your actions. While there may be significant opportunities of targeting current non-consumers, if other firms are able to quickly imitate your moves, the advantage that you have may be short-lived. Consider the entry and mobility barriers that may make it difficult for new firms to enter the market, or existing firms to re-position themselves.