Telling a Location NO

IsayNO1I appreciate each and every one of my locations, they are good enough to allow me to place my vending machines inside their business, and I try to accommodate them whenever I can. Eventually you will have a location make a request that isn’t possible or doesn’t make good business sense for you and your vending business plan. This is how I handle telling a location no:

The Delay and Forget

By far my biggest request is for a particular type of gumball, candy or toy. These types of requests are actually important to consider, after all the business knows it’s customer base better than you, but often they ask for a product that isn’t in your target range of cost of goods. In these situations I explain I don’t carry that particular brand of candy but I will inquire with my supplier about getting it for them and be on my merry way. In most cases the subject never comes up again and problem solved. If they ask me about it at a later date I can always explain how my supplier doesn’t carry their requested item and the subject is normally dropped.

The Outright NO

Sometimes you just have to be direct. Problem is that no one likes to hear “no”. So when I absolutely need to let a location know that a request isn’t possible always do it politely, give them a brief explanation why I can’t do it so they understand my viewpoint, and then apologize for not being able to meet their expectations. Basically we are in the business of treating our locations like our customers since they are normally the only real human contact we have within our business operations to the public. So use customer service best practices when telling them no, or really anytime you deal with them, and it will make it easier for them to understand your decision.

The Compromise

My last tools, in my toolbox of customer service, are the compromise and negotiate. If I can’t give them what they are asking for, then I briefly explain why or give them a plausible reason that is easy to understand and then offer alternatives that are viable for my business. A good example of this is if a customer asks for peanuts, a specialty item that traditionally doesn’t do very well except in certain locations, I explain that due to peanut allergies I try to stay away from bringing a potential health risk into their location but I have another selection I carry they may prefer in their machine and offer it to them.

I hope my experiences and strategies on telling a location no helps you in your own endeavors and would love to hear your own experiences and ways you handle it in the comments.


  1. PerformaVending says:

    Vending is, after all, a service business. We must always be improving ourselves to meet our locations needs- and this is a great way to do that without getting backed into a corner. Some locations will REALLY want something you can’t give them, and these steps become absolutely vital!

    Superb stuff very well stated sir! Rock on!

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