How To Contact New Office Building Tenants

I own a small snack and beverage vending machine business in an office building in the Loop. I want to expand my business. I know there is a lot of new construction in the Loop with potential places to put vending machines.

When I contact the realtors who manage the commercial space to ask what tenants are coming into the space, I get no response. People do not return voice mail or email messages. If I do reach someone by phone, I am often referred to somebody else. How can I reach the people I need to contact without getting the run around.

I do belong to the Chicago Loop Alliance and go to their networking events. I have a web site and use internet advertising, but it is not enough.

Question submitted by:

Annette Nowakowski
Snacks on State Inc.
33 S. State street, Room 1187
Chicago, IL. 60603
(312) 793-2521

Thanks for your question! In reading your question, I feel there are two parts to it:

1. How do you get in touch with the decision makers so that you can talk to them about the advantages of placing a vending machine into their location, and

2. How do I further expand my business?

To answer your first question, you need to consider the realtors point of view. As the realtor, why would I want to talk to you? What's in it for me? Most realtors are extremely busy. On top of that, they probably don't know who you are. So, unless you can provide them with some reason to call you back (a win-win proposition, something that interests them or they find value in, etc), they won't.

You also have to consider the fact that they may not want to give you their clients' information. I imagine that if I was the client, I might be a little upset if my realtor was providing information about my moving into the building to people trying to sell me something.

So, what can you do? My advice to you is to figure out what value you can offer the realtor to get them to call you back and provide you the information that you are looking for. The second thing that you can do is to wait until the company has moved in, and then contact the appropriate person. Another idea is to build some type of partner program with the real estate companies, so that they can promote you and your business in some type of move in package that they can provide to their new tenants moving in. By creating a win-win situation, you are helping the realtor look good, while at the same time adding value for yourself and your potential client. That way, you are getting referred in up front! Something to think about.

Now, as far as growing your business. You mention that you have a website and attend networking events. Do you have a marketing plan? Do you know exactly what you need to do to hit your goals and objectives? In my experience, most business owners have an intention to grow their business, but they don't have a written plan that will get them there, as well as a daily action plan to align their daily actions with their intentions. Without this, you are going to have a hard time meeting your goal of growing your business.

If you are interested, I do offer a complimentary coaching session, where you and I can meet to talk about how to best achieve your growth objectives. If this is something that you are interested in, please give me a call and we can set up a time to meet!

Thanks again for your question!

Tom