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Turning around a dud account


nvb
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I recently won an account from a competitor. It should be a winner.. but it has been a dud so far.

Went in with very good equipment, great selection and only hitting about 15-20 percent of what it 'should' be generating.

This is a blue collar factory of 100+, predominantly young male population.

I'm wondering what everyone's experiences are with turning around underperforming accounts like this? 

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The first thing I would check is if they have any nearby alternative refreshments.  If the ratio between soda and snacks are normal, then it's probably something else.. but having a gas station across the street would definitely hurt things.

Do you accept credit cards? $5 bills?  If they are a rather young population as you say, then those technologies are probably a must.  

How much money do they make?  How decent are your prices?  I doubt it, but it's possible they get paid so low that they don't feel they can afford your products... very doubtful on that.

Do they get any free snacks or free water?  Those can kill sales.  You need to check that as I have had locations gives an assortment of free snacks and soda regularly and my sales were trash.

Are the machines located in an area that is easily accessible or do they have to walk way out of their way?

For 100+ people, I would expect sales from $200-$400/week for snacks and soda only.

The only last thing I can think of is checking if a large portion of them go out for deliveries or go elsewhere during their shift.

 

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There is a gas bar with a very small C-store a block away.. but my prices are equal or better.

All machines take cash and card. Drink machines are glass front and everything is LED lit, freshly refurbished and looking great.

Aside from coffee and water coolers I don't think there is anything supplied for free..

im currently seeing 50-75 a week at best in total gross sales snack/soda

 

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Immigrants yes, poorly paid likely.. but tbh I have another account with similar demographic and it does 400 per week - same population

i better figure it out fast, about to move into 2 more factories on the same block.

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Southeast you are correct about that. The staff were very disillusioned with the previous vendor as losing money was the norm. Old and poorly maintained machines. My prices are also higher than his were on chocolate and canned soda but tbh his were too low.

Now this leads me to a question. Is there anything I can proactively do to remedy this?  I've thought about short term sales/ happy hour pricing to encourage useage and create some new habits but am very reluctant to lower prices permanently..

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Try throwing in some "different" options, snacks or beverages that may create a "ooh...gotta try that" appeal.  I had a pop account that was a $15-20/wk can machine that was an absolute dud.  Before pulling it, I had it switched to a glassfront machine and put in a bunch of teas and energy drinks (as well as the typical soda drinks).  Now it's doing about $150-200/week and with higher pricepoint items.  Try putting in some different choices and highlight them with either some POS on the break table, or a temporary lower price to encourage them trying it.  The other thing to do is keep talking to the employees when you go in to service the equipment.  Once you or your route driver build a relationship with them, they'll trust you and in turn, trust your machines.  Just my 2 cents.  Good luck!! :)

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I second what Randy said about products. I bought an account and it was doing ok, but the drinks weren't selling a well as I thought they should. I switched out a couple products over a month and is doing much better.

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Making yourself known as the "new vendor" and adding in a new/better product mix is a good start.... keep talking to employees whenever you get the chance (without getting management angry by slowing down the work!) and ask what they might like to see.  Don't open the door to talk about pricing though, if they complain about prices a non confrontational reply and change of topic is best....

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the great replies. A little update - this account is picking up steam now and is up to about $150/ week in drink sales which IMO is getting close to where it should be.

Here's the kicker and it really illustrates another point that some of you experts have touched on:

**Location within a location** 

While the drink machines are in high traffic spots within the factory, I was forced by management to put the snack machine upstairs (ugh) in a lunchroom that almost nobody uses.

The result? That snack machine is still an absolute dog at $10 per week. I often have days without a single vend. 

 

Nigel

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