Canadian Vending

Features Coffee Service
Knowing Your Roast


December 7, 2010
By Len Rashkin

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During the past several years of selling my “The Complete Guide to OCS Sales Training,” many operators who have purchased the CD and manual have called with their comments about the education they and their salespeople have acquired. One particular topic that has been mentioned numerous times by callers is understanding coffee. This knowledge about coffee will help you in selling more accounts, as well as presenting yourselves to your current customers and potential clients as being more professional and looking more like a coffee aficionado.

During the past several years of selling my “The Complete Guide to OCS Sales Training,” many operators who have purchased the CD and manual have called with their comments about the education they and their salespeople have acquired. One particular topic that has been mentioned numerous times by callers is understanding coffee. This knowledge about coffee will help you in selling more accounts, as well as presenting yourselves to your current customers and potential clients as being more professional and looking more like a coffee aficionado.

One of the topics that will come up is darker roasts and specialty coffees. With single-serve/pods sweeping the OCS
arena, this topic will certainly need to be addressed, with the many choices of “blends” and “straights” that roasters supply.

Just think about this, if you do not know what you are selling, imagine what your potential customer will think about what you have to sell – and about you?

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Now take a look at this scenario: The buyer asks you, “How come your Starbucks, Tully’s, Flavia, Seattle’s Best, Green Mountain, Heritage, Timothy’s, Van Houtte, First Cup or Gevalia roast coffee is more expensive than your regular 100 per cent Colombian coffee?” Take a few moments and think about how you would answer this question.

In saying the following, you will have answered the buyer with an intelligent statement and looked very professional.
“These coffees are all specialty coffee, which means they are hand-selected.”

If they are dark roast or bold, mention that “many of the these specialty coffees are dark-roasted to bring out their full taste profile, which makes it more expensive because it takes longer for the beans to roast, thus using more fuel, increasing employee time and causing a lot more shrinkage. Shrinkage is when the beans lose moisture and solids in the roasting process, reducing their weight. All of this adds to the cost per pound. Does this make sense to you, Mr. Buyer? ”

Here is a great way to break the ice with the decision-maker and show your stuff when you are covering your wide selections of coffees.

“Mr. Buyer, do you think the darkest roasted coffees have more caffeine than a light roasted coffee?” The buyer will usually say that the darker roast has more caffeine. You then say, “During the roasting process, caffeine is burned off as the beans reach a very dark roast. The darkest roast is the Italian or French Roast.”

You can then add, “The higher-quality coffees, known as arabica and specialty coffees, characteristically have less caffeine in their beans than the cheaper coffees, known as robusta.”

If you really want to impress, or, who knows, annoy the buyer with your knowledge, you can also say, “espresso coffee has less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee, due to the darker roast and the method of making espresso coffee, which is through steam and water pressure.”

Here is one more statement you can use when you see a potential account currently using canned coffee from the supermarket or from a wholesale club. “The grind in our coffee bags is made for a drip-coffee brewer. You get a larger yield of coffee with the correct grind. When using an all-purpose grind from the can, you will get weaker coffee or have to use more coffee to get the strength you desire. Also, the quality of our coffee is 100 per cent arabica, versus many supermarket canned coffees, which are a blend of robusta (cheap coffees) and some arabica (good-quality coffees). Our pre-measured bags make it easy to brew at a consistent strength and the freshness is sealed in with nitrogen. Canned coffee, once opened, will stale within 24 hours, giving a stale taste. Mr. Buyer, you can now see the difference in our quality and in the economy of our coffees.”

I think now you are getting my drift on being the authority on what you are selling. Knowledge is power and that power should be your entrée into selling more effectively.

The above is a small segment from my OCS sales training program. You can call me at 516-241-4883 if you have any suggestions for future articles or ideas that you would like to discuss.


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