Implement a Compelling Sales Process: The Six Steps to Selling Success

The foundation of your successful selling program starts with your sales process. It's the anchor to embracing, guiding, and closing quality candidates who will help you build your system. It's the tightly honed script that ensures successful production from initial contact to closing. It's the Broadway hit performance that every night leads audiences from opening curtain to standing ovations; the World Series champions who mastered the execution of their game plan. Franchise development is no different: follow the plan, the plan works. This is the playbook to success for top-performing recruitment programs.

Every sales process must be refined to work most effectively for each franchisor's concept, franchise program, and franchise candidates. Establishing your sales process is an evolution that recognizes the changing marketplace, competition, buyer motivations, and current strengths and challenges within your franchise. For example, a company plagued by litigation two years ago should consider presenting their FDD later, rather than earlier in their sales process. This allows them to first focus on building relationships, credibility, and trust with candidates. The positive validation from current successful franchisees reinforces the strength of the franchise opportunity. Once that is established, the FDD can be addressed and delivered to the prospect, who is more confident and understanding of the company's former issues.

The Six Steps to Selling Success is my playbook for fueling high-performance selling.

Inherent in every strong development process, this basic framework for recruitment has produced tens of thousands of sales for franchisors over the past two decades. There will be variations tailored to each concept, but the core approach remains the same. It's a quick-learn tutorial that breaks through the complexities of franchise selling. The principles are simple and highly effective. The execution is quite demanding, but when followed correctly can produce rewarding results.

The process incorporates self-qualifying and self-closing principles. The steps are summarized in the following table:

The Six Steps to Selling Success

  1. Pre-qualification
    Determine who your potential prospects are and sell the application.
  2. Program Review
    Conduct a program overview and interview to see if there's a mutual match of qualifications, interests, and expectations.
  3. Disclosure Review
    Educate your prospect about the purpose, benefits, and information in your FDD; clarify and answer questions.
  4. Franchisee Validation
    Require your candidate to speak with franchisees to gain greater insight and understanding of the opportunity through the owners' personal experiences.
  5. Discovery Day
    Attend Discovery Day at your headquarters for executive approval of the franchise.
  6. Awarding the Franchise
    Grant the franchise to qualified buyers based on your pre-determined closing schedule: during or shortly after Discovery Day.

In the coming weeks, I will delve into each step in detail, including sample scripts, checklists, and other "how-to" tips and to help you improve your franchise sales process in the coming year.

This is an excerpt from my best-selling book, "Grow to Greatness: How to build a world-class franchise system faster." To order copies, click here.

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