For over a decade now, Gary Joyner of Advantage Refreshments has been successfully helping entrepreneurs find their way into the vending business. He is now seeing interest from mainstream operators, who can easily benefit from the suite of services his company can offer.
Joyner offers a turnkey solution for businesspeople who seek entry into the vending business. “We start by making sure that the businessperson is qualified, from both a financial and business experience standpoint,” said Joyner. “Then we use our proven process to get them in business and help them to succeed.”
Intense sales effort
Joyner’s process begins with a sales effort on behalf of the operator. “We conduct an intense telemarketing and direct mail advertising campaign at manufacturing plants and warehouse distribution centers only. Core blue-collar locations – ideal for vending. We don't go after white-collar locations,” Joyner said. “Our target is anywhere from 100 to 500-600 employees, and we typically sign five-year contracts with no commissions.”
Federal Machine Corporation
As an authorized distributor for Federal Machine Corporation, Advantage Refreshments provides the operator with equipment. “We go beyond selling the equipment by providing an extensive training program that deals with everything from product selection to pricing, to promotions, to customer service, to route service, to equipment repair and vending management software – everything an operator needs to know to succeed,” Joyner said. “We are hands-on, and our support is there for the operator for as long as they own their business.”
Beyond installation support
Advantage Refreshments also provides complete installation assistance for their operator clients, just to be sure that they get started on solid ground. “We want success stories and happy operators who then become repeat customers,” Joyner explained. “We set the table for them. Great locations, new equipment, excellent product selection, strong promotional ideas that work – a perfect situation that is designed to make it easy for the operator to succeed – if they are willing to do the work once the location is installed. That is obviously very important.”
Success story: Jack Brown
One success story that Joyner points to is Jack Brown of ReFresh Facility Services. The Indiana-based operator was featured in 2017 on the cover of Automatic Merchandiser. According to Brown, Joyner was extremely helpful to him in the early days of his company, when he decided to go into the vending business about 10 years ago. That new operation was paired with a successful janitorial service, now 30 years old.
“Gary got me started in the vending business,” said Brown. “He is ethical and knowledgeable. Gary is driven. He never stops going, like that Energizer bunny. He helped me get the right supplier contacts, helped me to understand the business, gave me the encouragement and training that I needed, and the rest is history.”
Brown added that Joyner has a heart for vending and for small business. “He is a standup guy who is always available, and he is all about helping operators succeed,” said Brown.
Selling against micro markets
While Joyner just recently became an authorized distributor for Three Square Markets, he said often, he is selling against micro markets in large industrial locations. “We have replaced numerous micro markets in manufacturing plants and warehouse distribution centers because of the problems related to theft,” Joyner said. “We hear the employers express concern about having to fire a good employee over a stolen candy bar.”
Growing market area
Advantage Refreshments primarily serves the Southeast – Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, but he is willing to expand to just about any market area. “I average about 75 to 85 customer inquiries wanting to do business with us or seeking information to do business with us per month. Anywhere between 800 to 1,000 people call me or contact me via email every year. They're looking to get into the vending business in their hometown,” he said.
The local advantage
According to Joyner, being a local, hometown business, is a strong competitive advantage. “There are people out there who want to do business with a big vending company or maybe, they are forced to because of a national contract,” Joyner reasoned. “But more often, the HR managers that we talk to want to be served by a local business, who can deliver true personal service. As a result, we have tremendous success going up against the big guys in the industry.”
“They truly care”
Joyner said he is often asked by a potential client, “How do we know this small operator will provide great service?” His answer can be convincing. “They will provide great service because if they don’t, they lose the location and their investment. They truly care, because unlike the giant vending company you are talking to – this small operator has his own money on the line, and it will really hurt to lose your account.”
Helping mainstream operators
Joyner is increasingly exploring how he can serve existing mainstream vendors in addition to newcomers. “Every small operator has the same issues. Not enough help and not enough time to wear the many hats they must wear to run their business,” Joyner noted. “If an operator finally gets tired of running from the route to a service call to a sales call – that’s when it’s time to talk to me and see how Advantage Refreshments can help them escape that grind, working six or even seven days a week.”
Brown is confident that Joyner has a lot to offer mainstream vendors. “Without a doubt, Gary would be a huge help to any operator today, but they must be willing to listen. He is the consummate teacher,” Brown said.
For more information about Advantage Refreshments, contact Gary Joyner at 828-291-8323, email email@example.com, or visit www.advantagerefreshments.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Tullio is a content specialist, speaker, sales trainer and business columnist who advises entrepreneurs on how to build a successful business from the ground up. He also specializes in helping suppliers connect with operators in the convenience services industry – coffee service, vending, micro markets and pantry service specifically.
Tullio delivers a promise to any company that hires him for a 30-minute or 1-hour Zoom call. "That short session will elevate the performance of your sales team.”
Tullio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818 261-1758.