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In small sales categories, especially in an industry like bulk vending, a majority of your sales pitches lead to a "NO".  As was mentioned in a previous post...most stores will do just fine without your vending machines.  They don't need YOU to forward their business goals.  In some cases, you actually impede their goals.  Let's face it, they have a lot of reasons to say, "NO".  The site acquisition sales team at "Got Locs?" estimates they receive a 75%-85% "NO" ratio.  In major metropolitan areas the "NO" ratio is highest, topping 90% in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Most store owners have been exposed to bulk vending in one form or another and many have become jaded for reasons including, but not limited to maintenance issues, space issues, merchandising dislikes, accidents, injuries, break-ins, spills, unrealized/unrealistic expectations and more.  With that exciting news in mind, how does one go about acquiring locations for their garage or warehouse full of vending machines?  Short of hiring our team to acquire the locations for you, a good place to start is to convince yourself that "NO means "YES".  You heard it right..."NO" means "YES".  At "Got Locs?" Central, we actually instruct our staff to quickly get the "NO" out of the way so that we can begin our sales pitch.  We would prefer that "Sam the Storeowner" quickly tell us ALL of his reasons why he doesn't want us...yes, ALL of his reasons.  Why...because then we can easily cover his objections and/or move to whichever area he skipped and sell him on that area.  

"I already have toy machines and they are too big anyway.  I actually want to get rid of them", says Sam the Storeowner.  Mr. Open Minded Operator replies, "I don't blame you.  That's a lot of machines.  Besides, what will likely look best and sell best is something small and professional like my state of the art candy machine.  Only 14" wide, WE can put it right here where nobody will miss it, out of the way of that big group of toy machines.  LET'S try it for a while and see how it works out."

"We had a machine fall over on a kid one time.", declares Sam the Storeowner.  To which the savvy operator relies, "Exactly, that's why we invested in machines that are difficult to tip over.  I have one right in my car I can bring right in."

"No, I don't have space." ("Great, I have a small machine.")..."No, I don't like it." ("Understood, but you showed up this morning to make money and I have a way to make you profits out of an otherwise unusable space.")..."No, I have too many." ("You sure do, but you skipped the best one.")..."No, I'm too busy." ("Great, I will talk fast.")..."No, don't like these." ("Understood, but think of all the good will you will create by supporting this local charity.")..."NO" means "YES"!  I would recommend going toe to toe with Sam the Storeowner as long as he will talk with you.  Overcome objections and ask for the sale...overcome objections and ask for the sale...overcome objections and ask for the sale.

A few quick tips...

When you "ask" for the sale I don't mean "ASK", I mean "TELL".  (Example:  "Sam, I understand your hesitancy, but this charity machine is going to show your customers that you care about the needs of the local community.  Let's try it for a few months and see how it goes.")  The key is to give a benefit then "get on his side of the table" with the word, "LET'S" and ask for the sale.  In other words, "WE" are getting in this thing together.  "YOU" and "I" are going to overcome the objections together and try it out.  

Avoid words like, "CAN I", "WILL YOU LET" and "I WANT TO ASK".  Those types of words help the store owner to end your pitch simply by saying "NO".  Instead, consider these, "MY PROPOSAL IS", "LET'S TRY THIS", "WE COULD TRY THIS", "HERE'S AN IDEA".  These are "same side of the table discussions...one's that put you and Mr. Storeowner on the "same side of the table", working on a project TOGETHER.

Always stand closest to whomever you are pitching at the beginning of the conversation.  Knowing that a majority of them will say some form of "NO", you can relieve the "sales pressure" by slowly and gently moving away from them throughout the conversation...especially if you are overcoming objections.  Experts are able to completely turn their backs and begin walking away from potential clients and "throw" their best sales pitch on the walk-away...with excellent closing ratios!  Watch "Columbo" to learn how the real pro's do it. (different kind of pitch, but Columbo is the best there is!  He can teach you better than anyone that "NO" means "YES")

One of the best tips I ever received..."Success is NOT simply getting your machine in the door.  That is only the first step." (more to come on this one)

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The funny thing is I thought your "Ruining Bulk Vending" Post was stupid. I had prepared a long response to it and I got interrupted and when I went to post, it was timed out. So I said, F*** it and moved on, prepared to ignore your next silly diatribe.

Then I read this. This is the best post I have read on here. Even better than mine and mine are brilliant.

I have been at this for a long time. Longer than you. I've done a lot of selling. This post contains stuff that I've observed to be completely true, stuff that I've seen and not been able to put intelligently into words and stuff that I only realized were true after reading your post.

Thank You so much for posting it and I hope to put your thoughts into action as soon as I can.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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