Let me ask you a question: do you think it is easier to sell your product or services to a complete stranger or to a person you have had contact with before; whether it's an email conversation, forum participation or even an existing customer relationship (i.e. He has bought something from you) ? .

Without doubt, it would be harder to sell to a total stranger who does not know whether or not you are an honest seller, and whether or not they should trust your words and believe that your product or services will truly benefit them.

This is precisely why you should build up a responsive and targeted customer base -- a group of people who trust you and will most likely buy a product that you offer to them. This will ensure that you have a recurring and consistent source of income. When you release a product or make an endorsement, you have a group of people always ready to hear what you have to say.

There are several sources that you can tap into to start building a customer base. For example, you can participate in an online discussion forum and give advice and help for free. It won't be long before people start to recognise your name and stop and listen everytime you have something to say. You will become a valuable friend and teacher, and gain the trust of these people.

Would you buy something your close friend recommends? Odds are you would, especially if you was able to see some sort of physical or other return your friend has already received by using the same product. So always remember that TRUST is the number 1 attribute you must give and portray to your customers at all times. If you are perceived as someone honest that can be trusted and always under-promise and then over-deliver to your customers, success will follow in short due course.

Another way to build a customer base is to build a mailing list. There are a gazillion methods to collect subscribers, but when it's boiled down to the very essence, it's all about proving your value to the crowd and offering an incentive to make people become part of your mailing list.

A typical example would be a website chock-full of freely available, helpful and quality articles on a certain subject plus a "special report" that can be downloaded for free provided you give your email address. The rich content provides value, and the "special report" is the extra incentive.

Yet another source for your customer base, which is often forgotten, is your existing customers. If you bought this product from this particular person and he answered patiently to your every question, would you buy from him again in the future? Definitely.

When a customer has given you his money, that's not the end of the affair because by keeping in touch with him and developing a flourishing relationship with him, you will have a lifetime source of income.

Imagine if 100, 1000 or even 10000 responsive targeted customers are waiting to grab your newest products even before they are released, and those are certainly an achievable set of numbers above, in actual fact, products are released to waiting mailing lists of much bigger sizes everyday and sell to more than 78% of those same very lists, so the answer is yes, you can do the same thing yourself. Hence, the reason why it's vital to build a responsive and targeted customer base through trust and honesty, because it simply saves a lot of time and effort.