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What do we want in a locating company?


davidsurvz
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Hey Guys,

I just had a thought. How about if we start a thread here and list some of the things we like and don't like about locators. Ideas we have that could make locating a better experience all the way around. We could list common problems and issues an list things that are a major plus. Maybe some of the locators will review the thread and incorporate some of the info. into their business structure.

Just an idea.

What do you guys think?

David

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I think the most of the likes and dislikes are just a part of doing business. Most would like to see a quick turn around of a few days but in reality it takes 2-3 weeks on average it seems to get a machine placed. They have to call plenty of places before they get one. Lower prices would be good but they have to make a living, so I doubt much can be done in that area. Perhaps a progress report email so you know that a rep is working on your locations and you are not still in line waiting for a rep to start.

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Likes:

1. Honesty / integrity

2. Professionalism

3. Results focused attitude (recognizing that your success is linked to their success).

Dislikes:

1. Dishonesty / lack of integrity

2. Lack of professionalism

3. Short-term attitude (just in it for a quick fee, then on to the next sucker)

4. Charging for "warm leads" and calling them confirmed locations

We'll have much more to say about locating and particular companies in due time. However, we want to be fair and give some of them a chance to correct their failings first. We're trying to address the issues directly with them first before posting in a forum about it.

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Oh, and COMMUNICATION is huge. If I call, call me back. If I email, hit reply. Be responsive. Even if you have no information for me yet, acknowledge that I contacted you and let me know that I'm not being ignored. I'd rather get a quick reply with no news or bad news than no reply at all.

I'd say if you can't answer your calls/emails within 1 business day (excluding special circumstances like vacations or something), then you should not be in business.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One thing I like very much is when the locator schedules a drop off appointment for the machine deployment. It makes things very easy and saves a lot of headaches instead of people saying "I never talked to anyone about a machine...." or "I don't know what you're talking about."

It makes things very easy when my wife sometimes has to drop off the machines. She has to load up our kids and lug the machine in and it usually messes up the daily routine. She doesn't mind but it is very frustrating when she goes through all that work and the location says they have no clue what she is doing with a machine there.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION

 this is what I want also

Oh, and COMMUNICATION is huge. If I call, call me back. If I email, hit reply. Be responsive. Even if you have no information for me yet, acknowledge that I contacted you and let me know that I'm not being ignored. I'd rather get a quick reply with no news or bad news than no reply at all.

I'd say if you can't answer your calls/emails within 1 business day (excluding special circumstances like vacations or something), then you should not be in business.

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  • 10 months later...

I think it is important for the locator to realize that they work for you. Not the other way around. You are paying for a specific service when you request locations. I make sure to describe the type of machines I want placed the type of candy I use, etc. I know what what has proven successful for my route and I know what inventory I have and want to move as far as product and what specific machines I am trying to locate. I don't need the locator trying to tell me how to run my route or what kind of machines / product I could try in a location they got for me when the location doesn't fit the criteria for my order. I try to be very clear up front what type of machines I am trying to locate and if a location doesn't want that type of machine or the products that I requested be located then that is not a location that I want.

A locator should accept that and just line up another location instead of trying to convince you that this location will work if you change the type of machine or try a new product or try this or that , etc, etc. Especially when at the time of placing a specific order in detail the locator says they understand your order and say things like "No Problem!"

This has been an issue in the past with certain locators. Jim (Faith Vending) made the statement in a post about the locator meeting his needs.

"I have had great success with another locator because they met my needs as clearly laid out by ME. All I ask of a locator is to listen to your customers needs and wants and then try to meet them."

I agree wholeheartedly. You are paying for a specific service and that is what you expect when you hire a company to do a job. You wouldn't hire a contractor to remodel your kitchen go over everything you want with them pick out colors, textures, cabinets, sinks, counter tops, etc. Then agree to a contract, price and time frame then have them not follow through with the right color, cabinets, sink, etc and then try to convince you that their way will work just fine, you could make due with this other  kind of sink, these other colors will look OK with the rest of the house. and have them say something like "In fact my kitchen is set up in a way similar to the way I am setting up yours and here's how it works for me. Why don't you just try it this way and see how well it will work. Really, this is the only material, color, sink I can get llined up for you so you should make due with it."

You would kick them out of your house. Then get someone in there to get the job done right. The way you want it. Someone who won't just say here are the materials I can work with but they would go out and get what you paid for agreed on. 

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Oh, and COMMUNICATION is huge.  If I call, call me back.  If I email, hit reply.  Be responsive.  Even if you have no information for me yet, acknowledge that I contacted you and let me know that I'm not being ignored.  I'd rather get a quick reply with no news or bad news than no reply at all.

I'd say if you can't answer your calls/emails within 1 business day (excluding special circumstances like vacations or something), then you should not be in business.

You hit the nail on the head with this one ....

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After years of being a vending operator (too long to mention) and a few years as a locator, I can tell you one thing I have learned from the bulk vending business.

Warm Leads represent all telemarketing leads. They are the cheapest locating fees in the business because they require the operator to participate in the process. Firm Leads are face to face locators and they are the most expensive in the business (and the most unreliable) but they find the place, drop the machine leaving nothing for you to do but show up in a month to refill.

And that's the way it is.

Blue Moose

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I like an incentive to purchase more locations at one time.  For example, buy 5 locations and get one free.  I don't mind paying up front and having to be alittle patient, as long as I can reject the location if needed.  If I am paying a locator, I don't want to be required to place my machines just anywhere. 

I had a locator call MY office about 6 months ago.  I work out of my house, so not a viable location for a candy machine.  I should have said YES, bring that machine on over  ;D, but I didn't want to waste someones time.

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