If you’ve already bought a vending machine, the next step is to get it placed in a lucrative location. But how do you do that? In this post, I walk you through the process of researching potential locations and giving a pitch to get your machines placed inside small businesses, schools, hospitals, and other high-traffic locations. Let’s get into it!

Create a Unique Pitch

When making a pitch, you don’t want to keep the same offer for everyone. Each location is going to have different needs and opportunities. Here are a few options including pitches that are specific to each location.

  • Is there room for another vending machine? Include this in your pitch.
  • If not, very likely you’ll have to convince the manager to swap a previous loyal machine for your own.
  • Is the current vendor hard to work with? You could provide better and more reliable service.
  • Does the property manager have a heart of gold? You could donate a certain percentage of the proceeds to the charity of their choice.
  • Two or more machines of similar kind? Offer to add something that’s more unique like a healthy vending machine.
  • Propose a revenue share where the property owner gets a certain percentage of all sales.
  • Do some look in need of notably heavy maintaining, either due to cleanliness or lack-of-inventory?
  • Are there any that just don’t seem to get much traffic, or you simply believe that your machine can outperform (make sure to have evidence or convincing business plan to back this sentiment up)?
sale collateral vending mahines

Don’t forget to bring photos of your vending machine to the pitch.

Getting In the Door

In many scenarios, there should be little to know difficulty in finding someone of connections (receptionist, floor manager, etc), asking them to speak to an Owner/Manager about possibilities for a new vending operation, and simply setting up a face-to-face immediately from which you can deliver your pitch.

But that doesn’t always happen. Either the person isn’t there, is heavily busy, or has instructed others to act as ‘gate keepers’ and try to turn people like yourself away so as not to bother them. When this situation is upon you, always keep a few things in mind.

First, keep the same welcome and professional demeanor that you plan to go into with the official decision-maker. Treat this as the first stage to an interview process, and that means keeping full hygiene, professional dress, and speech.

Give them your full elevator speech (discussed below), let them know about you and the product to convince them you’re here with a real, actual opportunity for their location and not just a gimmick. Really let them know how sincere you are with wanting to discuss the location with their boss, and try to get that meeting that day.

In case of a situation where a meeting just CAN not or WILL not be set up that day, prepare some proper information for sharing. Have a Business Card, Information Packets/Written Pitch, and even some Product Samples ready to have them pass on and inspect (make sure to give extra product for other employees to snack on and build interest).

After this is done, make sure YOU get as much contact information you can to facilitate further visits; Name, email/phone if able, what days and times are supposedly best to stop down to meet, etc. Keep up the frame of mind that you WILL be finding another time to meet with the boss about this. Make this happen and we can move onto the actual pitch itself.


Elevator Speech

Crafting an effective elevator pitch to get a vending machine placed involves highlighting key points to a location manager or property owner. Here’s what to include in this short pitch.

  1. Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself and your vending machine business, emphasizing your experience and reliability.
  2. Customized Solution: Quickly tailor your pitch to their specific location, showing you’ve done your homework about their demographic and traffic patterns. See the section above about creating a unique pitch. Mention how your vending machine will cater to the unique needs of their audience, whether it’s healthy snacks in a gym or quick meals in an office setting.
  3. Benefit to the Location: Highlight the benefits to them, such as enhancing the convenience for their employees, customers, or students, without any cost or hassle on their part. If applicable, mention a share of the profits as an added incentive.
  4. High-Quality and Diverse Product Selection: Stress the variety and quality of the products you offer, emphasizing options that are popular, healthy, or in demand based on the location’s demographics.
  5. Maintenance and Service: Assure them of your commitment to maintaining the machine, keeping it stocked, and promptly addressing any service issues, ensuring a hassle-free experience for both the location and its users.
  6. Call to Action: Conclude with a clear, straightforward call to action, like all you need to do is sign up here and we can have the new units placed within 2 weeks.

And the most important is being able to keep it FLEXIBLE. No location is the same, so don’t treat them the same with an identical pitch every time; make sure you’re able to adjust your main points based on the research that’s been previously done. Then all that’s left is practice so you can deliver it in a smooth, easy, conversational pitch.

Here’s an example of a classic pitch template which you can start basing your speech off of; but don’t try using it word for word. Change it around, mold this speech to better fit YOUR business and, more importantly, personality, not to mention the values and benefits you specifically want to instill in that first meeting.

“Hello my name is [NAME HERE], I noticed you don’t have a ____machine at your location/had space for a vending machine/have some rather out-of-date vending machine types (whatever best fits situation) and was wondering if you would be willing to let me put in a _____machine that I know your employees/customers/people walking through will love. It’s absolutely free to you and if you at any time decide you no longer want it call me and I will remove it within 14 days.

A portion of the proceeds go to charity/you’ll receive 10% of the profit, which is great for your business and publicizes to your customers your community involvement(this latter for charity scenario). Besides saying yes there is nothing you will have to do, I handle all the refilling, and maintenance that is involved. Does this sound like something that would fit with your business and you are interested in? If so, I could get a machine placed within the next 2 weeks.”

The Long Written Pitch

Sometimes a simple greet-and-meet simply won’t cut it, either due to various extra details that need figuring out (unique installation, different situation, or attempting MULTIPLE machine additions to site) or, though interest is burgeoned, the owner/manager needs or requests more information. This is when we move to the longer pitch; complete information, going through the machines and plans, how and why it’s needed and beneficial to them.

This may be handled at-the-moment or rescheduled to go over in-depth at a later time, but either way this pitch should be prepped and prepared beforehand, and the best and most presentable way to do that is through an official Proposal form.

vending machines

A modern vending machine.

Cover Letter: it’s not actually part of the proposal, but you should have one attached on front, and should explain why you’re sending the proposal and what you want the customer to do after reading it. Contact info is a must of course.

Title/Introduction: a simple title page with a basic, descriptive name for the proposal to officially state what it is, such as “Proposal to Place Drink Vending Machines in ____”. If the overall proposal is a short/simple one, then this is all that’s needed for the ‘Introduction’ aspect as well. However, an Executive of Client Summary, listing the most important points the customer should understand, should certainly follow with an Introduction to your business proposal idea if there is notable length and/or complexity in the detail you need to get into.

Table of Contents: This is only be needed if putting together a LONGER proposal, after the Title page and before Introduction

Client/Customer-focused Section: why are you pitching this idea to THEM, and why should THEY be interested and want to do it? These are the parts of a proposal that dictate why they have a need and can benefit from this partnership. Examples of sub-sections in here includes Needs Assessments, Requirements, Limitations, and so forth.

Product/Service Description: it’s time to describe exactly WHAT you propose and want to do, machine specifications, costs to you and them , profit projections, advertising and marketing (if applicable), etc. This will include Spacial and Electrical Requirements, Profit and Loss statements from previous projects (if at hand), as well as Earning Projection pages, along with anything else that may apply here.

You and Your Organization: a “Bio” page of sorts, this is where you covertly show evidence as to why they can rely on YOU to fulfill the made promises. Note your Experience, any Certifications you have, previous projects and happy clients you’ve worked with, etc. Like a resume or job interview, use every part of this proposal you can to make you look good.

Example Pitches 

Pitch 1: The Modern Convenience Solution

Imagine providing your employees or customers with 24/7 access to high-quality snacks and beverages without leaving the premises. Our state-of-the-art vending machines offer a wide range of options, from healthy snacks and organic products to traditional favorites and gourmet coffee.

Equipped with touchless payment systems, they cater to the modern consumer’s need for convenience and safety. Plus, our smart inventory system ensures the machine is always stocked with the best sellers, reducing maintenance on your part and guaranteeing satisfaction on theirs.

Pitch 2: A No-Cost Perk for Your Space

Enhance your location with a vending machine that requires no effort and zero investment on your part. We handle everything – installation, stocking, and maintenance.

Your visitors, staff, or students get the benefit of on-demand snacks and drinks, turning your space into a more inviting and accommodating place. It’s a simple way to add value to your environment and offer a perk that everyone appreciates, at absolutely no cost to you.

modern vending machines

Lineup of modern vending machines.

Pitch 3: Tailored to Your Community

Our vending machines aren’t just about snacks and drinks; they’re about serving your specific community’s needs. We customize the selection based on your preferences and feedback, whether you’re a gym looking for protein-packed snacks, a school seeking healthier options, or an office desiring a mix of energy boosters and comfort foods. This tailored approach not only ensures high satisfaction and usage rates but also shows your commitment to catering to those you serve.

Pitch 4: Eco-Friendly and Technologically Advanced

Join the movement towards sustainability with our eco-friendly vending machines. They’re energy-efficient, use biodegradable packaging, and feature a selection of organic and locally sourced products. Our machines are also equipped with the latest technology, including digital payment options, touchscreen interfaces, and remote monitoring for optimal stocking. By choosing our services, you’re not just offering convenience; you’re making a statement about your commitment to the environment and innovation.

Further Tips and Notes

  • Make sure you come up with a captivating vending machine business name. This will ensure your company comes off as professional and help establish trust.
  • If planning on using monetary measures to better convince a potential client to let you set up a vending machine there, it is strongly suggested to go for something like 10% of profits. Avoid paying a flat up-front fee unless very reasonable and you are absolutely CERTAIN you can make it back easily. Otherwise you risk barely selling anything and getting your machine replaced after a while without ever making a profit yourself.
  • Bring samples with you to meetings. This includes pictures of vending machines, but also some of the snacks that are included. Besides samples, don’t be afraid to load up your actual machines (empty), if possible, into the back of your van/truck/other-vehicle when driving to these pitches. This way you can take the manager out and show them exactly what you’re planning on putting in, see how attractive it is and how easy the design is to work with. The right vending machine slogan or tagline idea can help the business emotionally resonate with a prospect.
  • It’s always a good idea to set Goals when going on walk-and-talks, such as getting a minimum number of locations each day, or being able to get to a certain stage of negotiation with your next potential client, or simply talking to a minimum number of places each day, etc. Work at it, and once that goal is reached, you can go home for the day satisfied.
  • As much as we mention the ‘benefits’ these clients can get from having you there, at the end of the day the money made from this is often minimal for these business owners/managers compared to what they are (or should be) making in their own job. And if you’re a charity vendor, there’s no official benefit for you being there. So the bottom comes to the fact that, more than anything, you’re selling YOURSELF and not just the product.

Note: Your best chance at securing a new vending machine location is to show up and make the pitch in-person, one on one. Everyones email and phone number is bombarded by inbound marketing from different companies and showing up at a place of business will help you stand out. If anything, it’s YOU that you’re selling, as someone the owner/manager wouldn’t mind letting try out their vending machine on, and not the product.

That said, there ARE other strategies, such as sending friends, family members, or gig workers to complete this work on your behalf. These are options you may want to consider if attempting to scale up the number of vending machine locations your business will service.

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Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

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