Wholesale Coffee Business OBJECTIONS!

Mr.GreenBean

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Mar 5, 2018
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Many of you have helped me over the past several months as I am launching my own wholesale roasting business. I am weeks away from my launch. I come from 16 years of corporate sales, and have been through enough sales training seminars where I know the craft inside and out.

In my experience, the greatest success in sales comes from being prepared for potential "objections" I will face when seeking new customers. By being prepared for common objections, I can then counter with a response that shows the benefit of working with me, or I can "probe" the prospect more to find out if their response has an underlying "pain point" that can increase my odds for winning that account.

Two very common objections I know I am facing are "we have been in business for years, and our customers have grown to expect the coffee we serve" and "we get all of this brewing equipment for free under our existing contract with XYZ Coffee Co."

What are some of the most common rejections you get from new prospects, and what are some responses to these rejections that work best for you?

Your feedback is greatly appreciated!
 
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Would you be doing shipping outside of your city, and would you include the non traditional coffees like the Kenya AA and Jamaican blue mountain? I would love to try other companies coffees to see how they compare at home. I'm a huge Kenya AA fan for it's bright flavours when done as a pour over, and I read that Jamaican coffee is suppose to be the best single origin coffee but sadly is mostly exported to Japan for some odd reason.
 
Hello Mr. Greenbean,

The two common objections that you mentioned: "We have been in business for years, and our customers have grown to expect the coffee we serve" and "We get all of this brewing equipment for free under our existing contract with XYZ Coffee Co." are exactly what I've heard time and time again, when new coffee wholesalers try to sell their coffee to the owners of the different establishments that I've worked for over the years.

Liking the coffee that they serve, and getting the equipment and service as a part of the deal, wins out every time. Free coffee filters for the drip machines, and free delivery of the coffee products used to be a part of the deal, but that was slowly eliminated over the years. Also, one stop shopping was a factor with staying with the current coffee supplier. In addition to the coffee beans, teas, hot chocolate mix, and syrups are ordered from them too. It makes it easier to place one big order - get it all from one place, instead of dealing with several vendors.

It's great that you have been giving this a lot of thought. It pays to be prepared.

Best wishes on your new wholesale roasting business.

Rose
 
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Hello Mr. GreenBean,

I agree with Rose. I have been in sales awhile too, but also did purchasing for a printed circuit board manufacturer. Any time I could hook up with a vendor that provided a "one stop shop" for their category of product, without sacrificing quality and service...I was all over it. Since it is probably going to be awhile before you get to the point of being that one stop shop, just be patient, be persistent (not annoying), and just look for ways in which your competition has dropped the ball...goof service can be quantified and therefore be a component of your value proposition. Best of luck.

Peaberry
 
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Hello Mr. GreenBean,

I agree with Rose. I have been in sales awhile too, but also did purchasing for a printed circuit board manufacturer. Any time I could hook up with a vendor that provided a "one stop shop" for their category of product, without sacrificing quality and service...I was all over it. Since it is probably going to be awhile before you get to the point of being that one stop shop, just be patient, be persistent (not annoying), and just look for ways in which your competition has dropped the ball...goof service can be quantified and therefore be a component of your value proposition. Best of luck.

Peaberry

Thank you much! Polite persistence is one of my strengths.

Both you and Rose have confirmed my initial findings. Free s*** and bundled services are a tough thing to beat. I have figured out when walking into a cafe how to identify these prospects. I find the easiest thing to do is give them the out by saying, "Oh yeah... they own all of your equipment, so I get it. People in our area like supporting local brands, and that is why they choose your cafe over Dunkin."

By empathizing, they feel less pressure and I can find out exactly what they get in order to find an opening in the future. Sometimes they have even told me about another cafe opening in the area to help me out which increases my odds of a close.

I have some low hanging fruit to start with, and see cafe accounts as occasional wins that deserve special attention when I get them. The majority of my attack in Q1 will be local farmers markets, specialty food markets, office buildings and churches.

All of this talk is getting me fired up. And even though my roaster should not be here for another 3 weeks, I am going to hit the road now and start getting my name on the front of people's brains.

thank you for your feedback, it is greatly appreciated!

Matt
 
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