Take Your Vending Business To The Next Level Part 2 Larry shares how he landed a profitable vending account from his early days.
Soon after landing this account he received phone calls from every facility they had in the area.
To get into big accounts you find someone who works there and ask “Do you have vending?” and if so, “Are you happy with your vending?”
Sometimes you never know who really makes the decision to change the vending. So you must take care of everyone.
Take Your Vending Business To The Next Level Part 2 Tom Shivers: Hi, I’m Tom with The Vending Business Show. I’m here with Larry Towner. When we talk about going to the next level with your business and getting new accounts, tell us the story of how you got one of your early accounts, Larry?
Larry Towner,: Well, yeah, we’ll bring it into perspective here. It was early on in my vending career and I was frantically out, driving around looking for accounts. One day I’m sitting in the convenience store and I see this guy come out, he happened to be driving a truck. No big deal. But he’s driving a truck. I noticed he had a whole bag full of vending type food. He had bags of potato chips, and sodas, and this and that. So, you know, being that I was hunting I went up and I talked to him. I knew his place wasn’t too far away from there so I said, “Hey, you guys have vending at your place?” And he said, “Yeah, we’ve got vending. But that thing never works.” And I’ll leave the expletives out of it. I said, “Well, I run a local company. Here, let me give you my card. And if you could, pass it on to your manager.” Man, I had a phone call within like a day. I went down there and I met with him, and out that guy went, that other vendor that was there.
Larry Towner,: And we put our equipment in there, and we took good care of him. Well, the next thing you know I’m getting phone calls, they had multiple facilities all over the place. I’m getting phone calls from every facility they had, and it was just kind of a way to do some networking, as it were, that I really wasn’t planning on. And so we were talking earlier, Tom. Are you a fisherman, Tom?
Tom Shivers: Yeah.
Larry Towner,: Do ever go down into they Keys where they throw a cast net? You know, a big net like they’re trying to catch bait?
Tom Shivers: I’ve seen those. I’ve not done that, but yeah, I know what you’re talking about.
Larry Towner,: [inaudible 00:01:59]. So this is my concept. I call it throwing a wide net. Because you see a lot of bait out there in the water, which are your potential accounts, right? So how do you get into those accounts? Well, the way you get into those accounts, and it doesn’t matter what account it is, you’ve got to find somebody that works there. And how do you do that? You start talking to people, and talk to as many people as you can, until you find somebody that works there. And then you ask them the same old qualification questions you always ask, “Are you happy with your vending?” Or, “Do you have vending?” That’s the one I always start with, “Do you have vending?” And then, are they happy? And that gives you an in. And the other side to that is that they will know who to talk to, who’s the boss, who actually pulls the trigger. And we were talking too about, sometimes you don’t really know who pulls the trigger. Where the owner ultimately pulls the trigger, as I like to tell, this is one of my favorite stories.
Larry Towner,: There’s the janitor, and he’s in there cleaning the boss’ desk and he goes, “Well, boss, I sure would’ve like that candy bar, but that machine [inaudible 00:03:04] me again.” And the boss goes, “ReallY? Tommy I’ve known you for 25 years, and you’ve done a good job. Would you like a new vending company?” And Tommy goes, “I think that’d be pretty good, boss.” And so the boss says to Tommy, “You know what? We’ll get a new vending company tomorrow.” “Oh, boss. You’re the best. Can I empty your trash can while we’re at it, boss? That sounds good, man.” You think that’s a joke, right? But it’s really true when you think about it. That, sometimes you just don’t know who really makes the decisions. That’s why you have to take care of, who, Tom? Everybody.
Tom Shivers: Everybody. Yep.
Larry Towner,: Everybody. You don’t know. And you don’t really ever know anyway. In some of my other ventures, I always like to laugh, the guy that makes the decisions, squirreled away in a little cubbyhole, you know, he’s right in the bowels of the building and it’s like, “Where are we going here? This looks like the basement.” It is. That’s where he works. [inaudible 00:04:07] in the corner office, and we’re going to the basement, right? But that’s part of it. Do you have any questions, Tom?
Tom Shivers: Hey, that’s some excellent tips. I guess we’re going to be continuing this next level with some new ideas, some additional stories and everything. So, I guess we’ll have to stay tuned until next time. You’ve been watching Take Your Vending Business To The Next Level Part 2 at The Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales. More Vending Business Blogs New To The Vending Business?