Going to lunch! with Jake

Hi Jake, please could you introduce yourself and let us know what your role is at eXpresso PLUS (eP)?

Hi Rebecca, I’m the Regional Sales Manager for the south of England. I look to generate new ideas and grow the eP brand throughout my territory. I really enjoy my role as I’m always out and about meeting new clients throughout different business sectors and markets.

So I hear the lunch! event eP attended last week was your first experience of an event, how did you find it?

At first I didn’t know what to expect but as I arrived at the Business Design Centre (the venue) it had a really good buzz and I knew it was going to be a good couple of days... which it was!

Did you find it was helpful to talk to different industry members and learn more about the drinks-to-go and food-to-go market?

The good thing about these events is that you get to interact with different people. We were there to interact with visitors and educate them on the coffee-to-go section, but in fact I learnt a lot myself especially on the different markets. It was exciting to see all the new innovative products being introduced into the sector and how they intertwine with the coffee industry.  The market has come a long way from the traditional vending scene over the past couple of years and it’s great to see!

How was the experience of interacting with people and bringing people to our stand?

At first when we lined up waiting for the event to begin at 10am in front of all our solutions, it made me feel like a club rep ready to try to bring people into the club. But in reality it was far from this, everyone was highly professional and keen to learn more. To be fair, I didn’t have to do any convincing of people to come over as the machines looked fantastic and drew people in. But having so many different people from different businesses in one place was fantastic and I love discussing our solutions with people and hearing their feedback.

Did you find it was a benefit to show people the different solutions in person?

100% yes. It’s hard to express over the phone how technologically advanced our solutions are. So by having all the machines together it was like bringing our Welwyn Garden City showroom to 6,000 people in one day! It also allows people to see our whole flexible range of solutions, from our PG2GO machine to our premium Lavazza Eleganza.

Did you have a certain sales approach on the day then?

It was more of a consultative approach then a sales approach. At eP we listen to the client’s needs and requirements then talk them through the solutions that fit their demands. I discuss all the factors from the end-consumer’s point of view (drink options available and how easy it is to make a drink) to the client (covering the ease of maintenance and profit generation opportunities).  After that we collected the client’s details down to organise a personal visit to their sites.

What some people don’t witness is the back of scene maintenance such as making sure machines are full stocked and clean, how did you find that whilst also trying to interact with customers?

To be honest, when stock needed replenishing it was a perfect opportunity to show customers our machines and how sophisticated they are and how simple it is to restock. Also the intelligence of our machines means that maintenance and cleaning was not something we needed to have on our mind, if the solution needed cleaning it would notify us.

Do you think social media plays a role in events, in terms of inviting people to the event and connecting with people after?

Yeah we advertised a lot on LinkedIn and Twitter inviting people to have a coffee with us at lunch! and through this we saw a lot of familiar faces and also a lot of new customers. This allowed everyone to see machines in a real life environment which usually assists them in their decision making. I also find it a great way to connect with members I meet after the event and keep up to date with them. Our marketing team use social media a lot to advertise offers and promote our solutions, they also use it when a new site has a new machine to try and help advertise it!

The Lavazza Eleganza got a bronze award in the innovation competition you must be please with that?

Yeah it was fantastic news. I personally think we deserve gold, but out of 64 candidates we can’t complain with a bronze! It’s just the Lavazza Eleganza is so sophisticated with its drink customisation and the telemetry and advertising capabilities that I’m always going to be biased and give it gold.

Hopefully it wasn’t all work for you! Did you get a chance to look around the show and look at the new products in the industry? If so, do you have any products which stand out and your recommended ones to watch?

Yes it was really good, we were lucky to be able to trade coffee with nearby stands which were all sweets, treats and pastries which was a bonus! Products I’d say are the ones to watch is the London Falafel, who offer gluten-free dairy-free falafel which was amazing! Also, St Pierre bakery range was to die for!

What happens after the event and where do you play a part?

For us, the event is all about the follow up. We put so much effort in to attracting and informing visitors to our stand prior and during the event that it’s extremely important we follow up professionally and efficiently with our new contacts after the event.  As soon as the event is over, we contact the client within 48 hours before sending on a bespoke proposal or arranging a meeting.

Thanks Jake, anything else you would like to add about this year’s event?

This year we offered a special show offer of 10% off our lunch! drinks range, so if you haven’t yet got in touch or followed up with us please get in contact to benefit from this offer and our sophisticated hot drinks range jake.kirkham@expressoplus.com