Putting up a vending business may sound easy on the get-go, but long-time vending machine owners would tell you otherwise, and you’ll realize there’s more behind the scenes than previously thought. So what is a successful vending business built on? Is it the machines themselves? The products sold The low startup cost? Or is there are some Steps to Land the Most Profitable Locations?
The answer is none of the choices above because, in reality, what the vending machine industry provides for customers is not the products nor the machines but value. A great value provided means a great value received, which means that knowing what your consumers want will make them feel valued and thus return that value to your business by becoming your loyal patrons.
The right way to look for a suitable location is not to ask or look for the highest ROI but to look for areas where consumers can benefit most from your business model and where you can provide the most value to them. The return on investment will follow. This article will show you how to find the best places for your vending machine business so that it can do well. Let’s begin.
Step 1: What is Your Vending Machine Location Strategy?
Since you already know the answer to the question of which comes first, the vending machine or the location, the next question is what strategy you should consider in scouting out the best location for your vending machine business. Do market research first and determine what products the consumers are interested in in that particular location, or better yet, determine what the location needs. Once you’ve pinpointed the areas and know what they require, we move on to the next step.
Step 2: Do Lead Generation and Tracking for the Locations
The next important step is to figure out who your target market is. This is what lead generation is all about for your vending machine business. While this may sound like jargon or something technical, it simply means putting yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and understanding how they think, act, and decide when purchasing a product. This step is the most complex and requires a lot of research; however, when done correctly, it can land you in the right locations.
- Buyer Persona Analysis – One easy way to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience is by doing a buyer persona analysis. Sometimes referred to as marketing personas, they are generalized representations of your target audience and can help create customer retention and acquisition.
- Direct Foot Traffic – This is the primary foot traffic where you’ll potentially place your vending machines, such as in an office building, school, or hospital. This is further divided into static traffic, which pertains to patrons in that particular location, often like hospital staff, and transient traffic, which relates to patrons who just pass by, such as patients in a hospital but maintain the same traffic number, albeit with different faces.
- Indirect Foot Traffic – This pertains to foot traffic from neighboring buildings and establishments with access to your vending machines.
- Exclusivity Potential – This pertains to a contract or agreement with a business owner to be the sole provider of snacks or beverages in the said location.
- Competition – Scout out nearby competitors such as restaurants, cafes, or other vending competitors.
- Machine Accessibility – Find out if the machine will run 24 hours or if there will be lockout hours. The precise location where you will place the machine is also essential, especially if it’s in a bustling area or hidden away from activity centers.
- Current Refilling Timetable – One way to determine if a location is profitable is by looking at how often the current vending provider would refill their machines.
Once you have an idea of your target audience, the final sub step is to recognize location leads by looking at web resources and checking for demographics, businesses, the number of employees of each company near your potential location, and their contact information. Organize your prospects by tracking all your findings and research using relevant software tools.
Step 3: Engage with Your Vending Machine Location Prospects
Prospect engagement is essentially the most crucial step since this part is where you convince your prospects why they need your vending machines. With this in mind, you need to get their attention using different engagement sequences such as emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings.
It’s important to note that there is a fine line between being persistent and annoying. Remember to respect your prospect’s time and privacy and only engage when available. Building business relationships is not that difficult so long as you don’t overpromise and provide a clear and transparent outline of your business plans and strategies.
Step 4: Nurture Your Vending Machine Prospects
Most of your vending machine location prospects won’t say yes immediately to your proposal. But this doesn’t mean that they refuse your offer. Your prospects are just taking their time to reconsider, or they’re probably doing research themselves.
At this point, your value proposition is crucial. A value proposition should emphasize the possible benefits that a particular location can experience due to the installation of your vending machines.
Step 5: Handling and Recognizing Objections
You’ve already done a ton of research, scouted the locations, assessed their needs, and engaged with your prospects, yet they still said no or refused to change their vendors. So, what do you do then? Other than providing them with value propositions, there is a way to recognize objections early and work around them.
You can do Iceberg Questioning. It is possible that during your early engagement or correspondence, your prospects only show you the tip of the iceberg and have not yet revealed what they truly desire in your vending business. This is the purpose of Iceberg Questioning, where you dig deeper and determine what your prospects need. Here are a few iceberg questions you can ask:
- What aspects of your present vending operator do you like or dislike?
- What kinds of goods would you ideally provide your employees or staff?
- What’s the approximate cost of your current vending options?
Step 6: Secure a Vending Machine Profitable Location
Finally, your prospects are interested in your vending machine business. However, the deal isn’t closed yet. You’re ready to sign the contracts and order the equipment, but they won’t commit.
You’ve told your prospect how your machine uses state-of-the-art technology with cashless payments, surveillance, and such. You’ve told them about your target audience or that your products are great-tasting with multiple options. You’ve presented them with everything they need to know about your business, but the question is, do they benefit from it? You might not have made your value proposition clear to your prospect. You don’t have to make a long speech about how good everything else is if your prospects do not see value in your business.
In most cases, feature-dumping does not secure your machine’s placement. The more features you talk about, the less interested and the less likely they are to commit. Once they see the actual value of your vending machine to their own business, everything else follows.
The Final Step
The main things to remember: understand what you’re trying to accomplish with your business, determine what types of locations will benefit from this type of business, seek out decision makers at these locations, and track everything so that you can maintain consistency, professionalism, and provide value better than your competition.