I know some of you running a vending business are thinking is this guy off his rocker? Vending machines do make money, they’re a 24-hour employee that never sleeps, eats or asks for a raise. And to an extent you’re all correct but has it ever occurred to you that the vending machine is only your tool of choice to earn your living? Construction workers use a hammer, truck drivers use their truck, and venders use their machines.
So what’s the point? The point is the type of machine your using isn’t the be all end all of your business. The first vending machine sales person I ever encountered was selling a new design of Bulk candy machines. The kind you’d see in a department store or mall. He preached about the increase in sales his clients were seeing, but the cost of the machines was astronomical. I asked him a simple question about how a machine could increase sales, and voila I had found the hole in his pitch. It can’t, if a machine has M&M’s in it and accepts quarters either an older style or newer type of machine has the potential to close the deal.
So what makes you money in the vending business?
The magic ingredient is you! A simple scenario, you have three snack machines. You pay a locating company to place these machines, and you run around town collecting money and re-filling them. After about 6 weeks of doing this you realize that the amount you collect each week is barely worth it for the running around you do so you decide to sell the machines and chalk it up to the vending industry just wasn’t for you.
With this example you’re involvement in the business is more or less an employee. You’d be doing the same thing with the same level of involvement if you worked for the large vending company in your town. How can you turn this around? Simple, your vending businesses success depends on you. Your job is to place machines, and provide the best customer service possible. Are the machine placement company’s interests in you? Nope, they get paid whether your machines make money or not, the profitable accounts are dug up from your hard work, networking, and sales abilities.
So what more can you do to have your best shot at success?
Don’t use a placement company to get locations. It’s not the nicest part of the job, but everything is sales. You need to network, watch new businesses moving in, new developments. Let everyone know the business your in, you never know who’s office is having difficulty with their current supplier, or who’s brother is moving to a new office down the street.
Take care of the accounts you have. It can be easy to become complacent with your current accounts, you have them, each week there’s money in the machine you fill it back up and away you go. Remember your best account is your competitor’s number one prospect. Always interact with employees at your locations, find out if the location is satisfied with its mix of product in your machine. Let them know who you are, leave your contact info on your machine.
Last but not least always look professional. Remember what you’re supplying may not be the most important part of a companies inputs, but there are also others that can do it. By handling yourself and appearing professional in dress and behavior you increase the chances of earning referrals to new locations, new machines at current locations, and decrease turn over. It’s always less expensive to keep a customer then to gain a new one!
For more information about the vending business and vending machines please visit Vending Machine Resources.