There should be some veteran jukebox operators reading this who’ll remember when the record industry made “Little LPs.” These were 7” vinyl discs with two or three tunes on each side that were pressed exclusively for the coin-op business. Only a handful of record labels made them because the market was obviously limited. One that did was Columbia’s Epic label, which had a decent stable of good artists like Tammy Wynette with enough good songs to fill the little discs up.
When I worked at Cash Box magazine back in those days, Epic’s chief was a guy named Mort Hoffman. One day I’d learned that Epic had just released several little LPs, and so I called Morty and pitched him to take an ad telling operators the new goods were available and some words why Epic thinks they should stick them on the machines. He agreed. Not long after the ad was published, he called to tell me one of my competitors had rung him up and asked to run the same ad, with a pitch that went like this: “I saw that ad in Cash Box. You don’t want to run that with us, do you?” Mort turned the guy down.
Advertising goods…especially new goods in the right places…is a proven way to promote sales, provided the product has (as coin-op people say) “legs.” Buyers ought to be made aware of what you’re selling if you expect them to buy something never seen before. No brainer. What happened with the Epic ad was that it made all the sense in the world to run it in one of the publications reaching coin machine operators…especially in the one that asked first…but maybe not in the one that gave old Morty such an easy out.
My pitch this month isn’t about advertising. In the case of route operators, it’s about asking new location owners or managers on-point if they’d like you to install certain machines at their places and be real quick to explain exactly how they and their customers would benefit by having them there. In the case of game room operators, it’s using the various methods of telling players what’s new on the floor, be it signage, social media, flyers or making sure the employees find ways to draw attention those new games, just like they now welcome folks to the place (they do welcome people, right?).
If all the books on salesmanship fell on any of us, we’d be squished. All I want to remind readers is when making potential buyers aware of what you’re selling, pitch your goods or services straight to that customers’ shoulders. Backed by decent product knowledge, a positive attitude and a proper price point, all that’s left is to stop thinking about it and just make that call!
–– Eddie Adlum