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Couple ideas


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I am expecting my first 10 machines here in the near future (well, I have the machines but they came without the keys...so I'm waiting on those now...anyhow...) so I'm starting to think about locating them and the sooner the better. Would be great if I knew they all had a home before I even got the machines (yes...I know I'm probably living in a fantasy world...especially considering how much I detest selling).

Anyways, I have a few thoughts...

One, my last employer - they have 3 different locations throughout the city and they always had full vending (soda/snacks) but never any bulk vending. Was considering sending a letter to the CEO with a blurb about how I'm a former employee starting up a new bulk candy business and asking for permission to place a machine in each break room location. Not sure how to word it but feel like being a former employee might get me in the door. Any wording that you'd suggest? Should I include a photo of the machine? He is rarely in the office so I'm not going to attempt a face to face - just a letter to start with at least.

Second, there are several places (coffee shop, hair cutting locations, etc) nearby that do not have any vending machines. I was thinking of going in and trying to 'presell' the locations. Let them know I live in the area, that I'm starting a new business, that I have ten machines arriving in the next couple weeks, and that if they are one of the first ten locations to sign a contract and pre-accept a machine I will reward them with a gift card on delivery of the machine. Thought that way I can go out and try to do locating before I have the actual machines...plus it gives an incentive to the store owners. Thoughts? Any downside to doing it now vs later? Hate to have the money coming out of my pocket for gift cards though...any other incentives I can offer?

As an FYI, I intend on NOT doing a national charity. I am hoping to get away without giving any commission (just by emphasizing the value to the store...ie less screaming kids, happier employees, etc) but if they insist on a commission then I will be going that route.


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doing a charity vending isn't much 1-2 buck a month a machine. Commissions I found out from a local Pizza joint he gets 25% off his spiral. Made the comment the bank doesn't even pay that kind of interest. Charity is a way to get in the door. Helping Kids with Cancer. Soldiers coming back from the War overseas, Missing kids, Breast cancer, they are things people relate to and thus help them relate to you wanting to place a machine and help this cause. It also helps others that need it. Like the old Godfathers Commercial Just Do it.

Ad you approach your old place of employment. I wouldn't mention I was an old employee I am So and So from (inset company name) I would like to offer to place a candy pop machine in your break room at no cost to you. If anything if you get a no or Corporate handles that find out that number. Make the call you never know you could land all three. I got one account from a locator. Called the District Manager and ended up with the other 5 in two towns not far from where I live.

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Hi Jane I love the fact that you are thinking outside of the box a bit on this and ready to get started right away. These are both good signs that you will do well in this industry. Here are my thoughts on your post. I would try to contact someone I know in the old company rather than the CEO especially if you know a store or location manager. Let them get permission from the CEO and that gives your more leverage with your past relationships. I have pre located in the past and had the best luck with places I had a strong relationship already established. Local restaurants you eat in a lot or the place you get your hair cut or the place you get your oil changed are great places to start. Go in have lunch, get a hair cut or have your oil changed and while you are there fill them in on what you are doing. It generally helps while locating if they know you are a regular customer although this does not guarantee success. I would print up some nice looking flyers with pictures of the machines and the bullet points you mentioned in your post about the benefits the machines have for the business. Make sure your contact info is on there and you can leave these in case the desion maker is not in when you visit.

As for the charity aspect your first 10 machines may be easy enough to place in local spots where you have past or present relationships. However if you are going to grow and add machines having a charity will help a lot! I totally agree with BigRed on this one it does not cost that much and is way less of a hassle then keeping up with commissions and makes locating way easier. I use www.operationh2o.org which drills water wells in remote parts of east Africa. I travel with H2O to Africa each year so I have personal stories and pictures to share and it really helps.

When I locate here is what I do...(keep in mind everyone has their own method). I get some flyers with all my info, and load up 3-5 machines in the back of my truck when I am heading out to check my route. As I check my existing machines I look for places near my current locations and I go in with a flyer and ask for the owner or manager. I introduce myself and the charity and let them know that I have a location next door or right across the street. Then I ask them if I can place a machine in their location for a 1 month trial. followed by I have a great looking machine in my truck right now. If they say yes I grab it and set it up. If they want to think on it I get contact info for follow up. If they say no I thank them for their time, and ask them to say a prayer for the 3,000 children under the age of 5 that will die in the next 24 hours because they don't have clean water (ok I don't really do that last part but it has crossed my mind) I do however remind them about the charity and tell them if they reconsider they can contact me any time.

I have found that asking for a 1 month commitment eases the pain some for locations and very rarely do they ask me to move a machine after the 1 month is up. They don't even notice the machine in most cases after a few days.

My locating experience is not extremely extensive I have located 10 soda machines and just over 20 bulk candy locations. 5 of the soda's and about half of the bulk where easy because I had good relationships with the locations already. The more you do it the better you will get at it, so I see no problem in starting early. Even if you only get half of them placed before the locks arrive you will be half way done with what I think is the hardest part of this industry! Good luck!

PS. I am on the board of Operation H2O we ask for $1 per machine per month I can send you stickers if you ever decide to go the charity route.

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