The definition according to Dictionary.com for Customer is “a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron”.
Therefore a Customer is someone who has already purchased your goods or services. Whilst it may seem obvious to deduce that everyone else who hasn’t yet purchased your products or services is a Potential Customer, this is not the case.
Not everyone who hasn’t yet purchased your products or services is a Potential Customer for an organisation’s products and/or services. They may be perfect for some kinds of people, completely inappropriate for other kinds and average for others. The definition according to Dictionary.com for Potential is “capable of being or becoming”.
Therefore a Potential Customer is someone who is capable of becoming a purchaser of product and/or services from an organisation. By understanding your Potential Customers, those most likely to buy from your organisation, you can target your Communicaton Material accordingly.
The key group of Potential Customers, is known as your Target Audience, the group of people or organisations who are most likely to buy from your company.