Vending Business Seasonal Sales Part Two We’ll be looking at both account sales and retail (product) sales in the Fall season. Fall is a strong time to sell product because you can sell candy and food in the morning and drinks in the afternoon. Remember as the weather changes, you’ll want to change your product mix. You also want to know the over night temperatures in the room where your machines are located. Products sell because things are typically “back to normal” and running smoothly at the location.
Vending Business Seasonal Sales Part Two is in the Fall and is also the best time to make account sales calls because these decisions are usually made in the winter time around New Years or in January. December and through January is also a strong time to make account sales calls since New Years is a demarcation point.
Retail sales tends to fall off after Thanksgiving to about half of what you normally do due to lots of food brought in by employees. Money gets tight for consumers because they are spending on gifts and when January comes they start receiving those bills. So during the sluggish time of Winter it’s a good time to make sales calls.
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Tom Shivers: Hi, this is Tom with the Vending Business show here again with Larry Towner where we’ve been discussing vending business seasonal sales in part one we covered spring and summer so what’s next Larry?
Larry Towner,: Well what comes after summer Tom? Fall time right? So we’re gonna continue this conversation about vending business seasonal sales part two and with the fall time on the vending business cycles and here’s one thing about fall time and this largely has to do, when I talk about fall, I’m talking about after Labor Day or more or less in September if you wanna call it that. But it’s essentially fall time encompasses after Labor Day until about Thanksgiving. And the fall time is from, again we’re talking about two different things, we’re talking about retail selling and we’re talking abut account selling. Which are two kind of different sales aspects of the vending business. But if you’re into account generation there’s different concerns than there are on the retail side.
Larry Towner,: So we’ve been discussing the retail side for first. Fall time is a very very strong time like the spring to sell product. You get a great shift in weather. What you have is you have generally cold mornings and warm afternoons and that lends to retail sales really strongly. So because you can sell candy and food in the morning and you seel drinks in the afternoon. So fall is actually the time of the year, in my experience anyway, was always my largest sales volume came ion the fall although the spring, summer and fall were pretty level all the way across, it’s just what happened was is that in the spring and fall you had a perfect mix of products, you had about 50/50 snack to soda. Summer time you sold largely drinks and then int fall time you went back to snack and soda.
Larry Towner,: One thing to is just as tip, is don’t forget that as the weather does change you have to change your product mix. When you =come out of the cold weather, you go into the warm weather, you need to be moving into non-chocolate items, items that don’t mold quite as much, that don’t melt, you need to be asking your accounts do they turn the air conditioning off during the night time or over the weekend because a couple of days in a hot room can ruin the inventory ion your machines or make them unsellable. Chocolate has a bad habit of turning white, it gets crumbly and white and it’s unsaleable at that point.
Larry Towner,: That lends to service calls or service complaints, if you wanna call them that. That opens the door for other vendors to come in and make the sales calls because after all all of your stuff in your machine is old and out of date because it doesn’t matter if it’s one item or all of it, they’re gonna say it’s all of it.
Larry Towner,: With that said, in the fall time it’s a better time to sell than it is in the spring and the summer. Schedules are back to normal, you’re seeing managers and people that are decision makers that are in the accounts, they’re kind of out of their heavy production season, they’ve got everything running smoothly, at least they hope anyway. Everything’s kinda smooths out so it’s a good time to start laying your calls, your sales calls, if you’re gonna go for account generation, in the fall time, that’s the best time because there’s …
Larry Towner,: What happens is is in the winter time is when the decisions area actually made. The best time to go selling in the vending account business is in the winter. It’s right before New Year’s, because New Year’s is a natural point of delineation. A guy’s got his to-do list, he’s had to look at new vending accounts or new vending companies on his to-do list since the summer time, he’s just not gotten around to it, he’s been busy, December comes around, between Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s, it’s real slow in the business cycle and he starts looking at that to-do list. And when you show up or you’ve been there a couple of times over the year and he’s looking at his to-do list, he’s got you up there saying hey, I need to call XYZ vending company, they’ve been calling on me for a couple of months, I wanna see what they have to offer.
Larry Towner,: So December, in particular, is a strong time to be selling accounts because New Year’s is a demarkation point. Even out into January, out to January 31st, out to the first of the year, great time because it’s that New Year’s resolution, they wanna a new vending company.
Larry Towner,: Retail sales on the other hand, generally after Thanksgiving, falls off to about half of that you’ll do the rest of the year. Largely because there’s a tremendous amount of competition that comes in. You’re looking at snacks and sodas and punches and cakes and cookies and turkey’s on the table sin the break rooms, there’s all this outside food that’s coming in, along with that, money starts to get tight for most of our consumers.
Larry Towner,: They are looking at Christmas, they ave huge amounts of money they’re gonna spend on Christmas, they know it’s coming up, and conversely with that come January they start getting their credit card bills. Sales fall off, they remain sluggish through January, they start to come back in February, or Febugly as I like to call it. Bt during this whole time weather can play and issue too because if people get taken out on a weather day they’re not at their place of business to purchase from your vending machines so they tend to be, sales tend to be a little sluggish on the retail side in this time.
Larry Towner,: But at the same time, so you’re not quite so busy doing your route, go make your sales calls. That pretty much wraps up the business cycle. Now if you have particular instances of if you’re =wanting to try to negate those cycles, there’s ways around that, those are tactics we’ll talk about in a future show and that does it for me right now. Tom do you have any questions?
Tom Shivers: Those are some excellent tips there. Thank so much Larry. We’ll be doing some more, like you said, on this topic. So you’ve been watching Vending Business Seasonal Sales Part Two at the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M …