Change is Mike Coons’s business.
No, literally. Coons’s business is change.
For the last 17 years, he’s been with Standard Change-Makers, a company founded in the 1950s making the machines you may have grown up seeing at arcades that can frequently be found today in laundromats, vending machines and car washes.
With such a diverse spectrum of clients, Standard Change-Makers has had to adapt to each groups’ individual needs while also recognizing the common threads that bind business owners together.
“The buttons you need to push, those emotional selling points you’re trying to get across: security, reliability. Each one of them wants that, because they’re in a public place, but how they go about their business, how they audit their machine, it’s all a little different from place to place, industry to industry,” said Coons, the Vice President/National Sales Manager at Standard.
“It’s part of the challenge of doing business for everybody these days, but being able to build some versatility into our product (has) become a bigger part of what we do.”
They’ve also been making sure they stay relevant in the modern economy, pivoting from a heavy load of print advertising and features in trade publications to more digital products, but also relying on a throwback approach of mouth-to-mouth and making sure the members of the distributor network are well-versed on what each decision-maker is looking for in a change solution.
At times, Coons said he’s approached by Standard’s in-house engineers, who realize they can add a new feature, but must first check with those in the field to see if those bells and whistles would be truly in demand.
“Sometimes I don’t know that, so that’s when I go to the sales reps and say, ‘Hey, this is what they say they can do. Talk to your customers and let me know what they think,’” he said. “And they all have a dozen or two dozen distributors they have really good relationships with who have helped us in the past in those situations. They’ll talk to those guys and get the ‘Yeah, I could probably sell that,’ or ‘No, I’m not interested in that.’
“That kind of feedback is pretty special.”
Whether it’s making sure people putting a bill into the slot are getting their four quarters or keeping up with the latest digital innovation, Standard Change-Makers is sure to continue adapting for years to come.
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