I'm a sales person and I'm writing a mail to make an appointment with prospects.

I'd like to write honestly to them that: "the purpose of this business trip is to visit potential customers".

Is it okay to call potential customers potential customers? People who would be interested in our products?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about manners, not language, and if it were about language, it wouldn't be specific to English.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 14:27
  • 1
    Yes, it IS appropriate topic. It's because I'm a Japanese and asking if the word, potential customers, can be used aiming at the specific objective, meaning that I'm asking the definition of the word. In fact, another guy is sggesting an another word for me. Therefore, I did learned new English word today by him thanks to this wonderful English theme.
    – SAKAI
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 4:48

2 Answers 2


Its okay, in English. For example I would happily email someone to say "I'm visiting [your city] to see potential customers,do you want to meet up later". One might even say it to the potential customers. Its not actually offensive or wrong.

But some people might not see themselves that way, or might feel it assumes what they will do (it is presumptuous). It is like if you described someone you like and have seen a couple of times and might end up.close to, as a "potential bedmate": people like to be wooed and not assumed what they will do.

Perhaps emailing them "The purpose of this business trip is to visit people who might be interested in our services", or "I'm visiting to explore business prospects with some contacts" (calling other business people "contacts" doesn't assume whether they will buy or suggest they are only seen through a lens of "potential buyers")

  • +1 for emphasising the downside of seeming presumptuous.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 9:37
  • Cool, cool! I actually liked your way: "I'm visiting to explore business prospects with some contacts". I appreciate your great support.
    – SAKAI
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 4:29

prospect (ODO)

2 A person regarded as likely to succeed or as a potential customer, client, etc.

‘Let someone use your office for meeting a client or a prospect.’
‘The two largest potential groups of likely prospects for the certificate program include law enforcement officers and nurses.’

prospect (BusinessDictionary)

Potential customer or client qualified on the basis or his or her buying authority, financial capacity, and willingness to buy. Also called sales lead.

Note the "Also called sales lead". However, I don't think all sales leads are prospects or potential customers.

"Turn Prospects Into Customers With These 8 Tips"

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