A number of years ago I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Bobby Bowden, College Football Hall of Fame coach at Florida State University, speak at a luncheon about what it takes to be a winner on the gridiron, in business and in our personal lives. When your resume includes 377 wins, two national championships, 12 conference championships, 14 consecutive years finishing in the top five in college football, people have a reason to believe the man knows what he is talking about.
After Coach Bowden had concluded his remarks, he then took questions from the audience. When he called on me, I asked what the number one reason was for all his success in coaching.
Without hesitation he immediately said it was making sure his players and assistant coaches always understood that if they executed the basic fundamentals of the game correctly, success would always follow. He followed up by saying that while he had a reputation of being a riverboat gambler when it came to trick plays and unorthodox play calling, if his team did not block and tackle better than the other team, their chances of losing increased dramatically.
If your company has a game plan in which you are constantly making sure your machines are clean and in excellent operating condition, your route drivers are at their locations on time every time, and you are regularly rotating your products, checking for outdated items and listening to what your customers are saying, success will follow.
When owners, managers, route drivers, service technicians, office personnel, warehouse workers and everyone else on your team understands that doing the basic fundamentals every single day all contribute to the company success, everything else will fall in line.
Vending operators frequently ask how they can get appointments with potential high-dollar vending locations for their sales team to call on. Telemarketing has always been a fundamental source of securing appointments with excellent results when used as part of an overall marketing and advertising plan.
A few months back, I spoke with a man who called me and shared a bad experience he had with a slick looking marketing company who painted a very rosy picture. They said that if he would purchase one of their high-tech direct mail, social media centered programs, his phones would be ringing off the hook with customers wanting his services. He was led to believe that doing things the old fashioned way — telemarketing — to make appointments for his company was well past its time.
The presentation these so-called marketing experts gave him suggested that he totally revamp his website and that his company needed to produce bright, colorful brochures and 25,000 pieces of direct mail advertising over a three-month period. They also advised paying for over 250,000 Facebook, Instagram and Google ads. When he informed me that the cost of this program was north of $25,000 and that he had one call from the direct mail pieces and zero calls from the social media ads, to say that he was down in the dumps is an understatement.
I am not here to say that all of the high-tech or social media methods of reaching locations will not work in helping grow your vending company. However, I am saying that — as Coach Bobby Bowden said — sticking to doing the basics right and on an ongoing schedule is a key factor in growing your company.
Plain old calling potential locations on the phone, dropping off free samples of new products, asking for referrals from your existing customers, and offering the person giving you the referral a gift card of $500 to $1,000 if the location they refer comes on board are just a few examples of the basic fundamentals that can and will work for your vending company. If sticking to doing the basic fundamentals helped Coach Bobby Bowden win two national championships, it can also help your company make more sales and profits — guaranteed.