If you are interested in getting into vending, your route to success is doing what the successful operators are doing now which is; developing a business plan, working on market strategy, researching product cost, equipment etc. All of this needs to be mapped out before meeting with a location owner so you can understand how the business works and so that you are prepared. A few questions to ask before talking with potential location owners and other tips for getting new vending locations.
Getting locations yourself can be challenging for the best of salespeople until you learn what you’re doing. The good locations usually have vending machines already in place and the trick is offering them something better than they already have. If you can get to them when they are not happy with their current operator your job will be much easier. Surprisingly this is easy to do in a lot of markets no matter how large or small your competition may be as most operate a sloppy business and do not focus on their customer.
A few things to ask yourself before stepping foot into a prospective vending location
· Do you have marketing material about your company? Without something on paper (that hopefully looks professional) you may not be taken seriously.
· Have you developed your spiel for when you are talking with owners of locations? This is your one shot to sell yourself as professional and dependable. Practice a few times in front of the mirror to be comfortable.
· Have you made a price list? More than likely, the location owner is going to want to know if you are going to offer a fair price. Better to be prepared with a list of products you think would work well in that location and you can tailor it from there.
· What if there is already a vendor? How will you respond? This can be a great time to get a new location, especially if the location owner isn’t happy with the vending operator. Develop your talking points on how you will provide better service or pricing if that is the current objection.
· What about commissions? Will you offer them and if so how much? You should be prepared to offer commissions if the owner or location demands. Don’t offer commissions right away but you should understand the financials so you don’t put too much on the table. .
Before trying to tackle big vending accounts be sure to evaluate whether you have the time to service them. The big accounts (anything over $80,000 a year) is going to be full-time daily service. If you can’t put in that kind of commitment, don’t even approach them. Bad word of mouth from lousy service will sink your company quickly.
The $15,000/year and less accounts will make up a majority of a vending companies sales is the bread and butter. If you can take care of these, the word of mouth will spread and by providing great service to a small location may turn into a large account due to buy outs from a larger company.