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Vending Business Information, Issue #037 -- The Vending Sales Call
October 23, 2011

The Vending Sales Call

At this time I have 6 locations I am talking with and I want to share the sales call at larger locations with you. This will help you to know how to get beyond the guard.

The Initial Call

You can walk in with a bag of products that would be found in your snack machine, but better yet walking in with a good quality bought brownie or freshly baked box of cookies and a folder with information on your company that has a slot for your business card is best.

Tell the guard who you are and that you would like to leave a box of brownies and a folder with some information about your company for the person in charge of the vending at their location. They will almost always say sure I will see that John our HR manager gets them.

At this time say to the guard what you usually do is call John in about a week and if there is an interest we can pursue it from that point and if there isn’t they will tell me at that time.

It is so low pressure they will give you the number or at worse they will tell you to call the switchboard. In most cases the person you are talking with runs the switchboard and you have already established a relationship with them.

I am calling on a factory of a major manufacturer at this time with 900 employees, 14 break rooms and 1 cafeteria. One of the most important things is that I am building a relationship with the guard and HR manager.

The guard enjoyed raising tropical fish to sell when he was young and after talking to him the first time he is now thinking of raising them again in his retirement for extra money. The point is making friends.

The Sales Phone Call

Within a week you want to call them. They won’t always answer sometimes they hide behind the answering machine. When they do answer say to them “Hello John, this is Dennis Slack with your company name.

I stopped by about a week ago and dropped off some information about our company and some brownies--by the way did you get the brownies?” You just broke the ice. It is best if you have a smile on your face and keep it light hearted at this point.

(One of the strangest replies I ever received was yes I did get the brownies and they where terrible. I told him they where a frozen brownie and started apologizing. He interrupted and said as I told you they where terrible and after I ate the first one I couldn’t get stopped and I ate the entire box. This person was on a diet and we are at the stage of giving him our proposal now.)

Sorry about that, let’s get back to the process.

Now as long as they have not said we are not interested at this time ask them if they would have a few minutes to spare next week or the week after (let them have two choices in the near future but not too close to today).

After they pick the week ask if the first part of the week or end of the week works best for them. Just keep narrowing it down to the day then to morning or afternoon and then to the hour. The HR person feels more in control by doing it this way and you are just after the appointment.

The First Call

The first call can go in several different directions. The call I made a week ago last Friday lasted less than 10 minutes. But I received permission to bring someone back with me to tour his break rooms and gather information on how much equipment we would need to set up the account.

The Second Call

I brought my boss, and the HR manager sent an assistant of his, to show us the 14 break rooms. We were unable to tour the kitchen on the first visit as their present vendor was stocking machines in that location.

That is what you call a lucky break because it gives you a chance to come back again before a proposal is given which strengthens the relationship you are building.

To be concluded next week.

Your friend in business

Dennis Slack

PS Lets all welcome Janelle Thomas the owner of Flipside Snacks out of Huntsville Alabama to the snack box directory.

Vending Business Information

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