Challenge the Pros: Maintaining A Personal, One-On-One Touch With Prospects

"In an era of increasing automation (CRM, etc.), how do you maintain a personal, one-on-one touch with prospects?"


Jennifer DurhamJennifer Durham
VP of Franchise Development,
Checkers

At Checkers and Rally's, we've been in the business of Big, Bold Flavor for more than 27 years. But there is one aspect that sets our guests, our restaurant teams and our support teams apart - and that's Passion. We offer crazy good, one-of-a-kind menu items at a great value to our guests, which are also easy to execute operationally for our franchisees. Our unique buildings and restaurant designs stand out from the pack and provide a retro feel with a contemporary edge.

The same passion holds true with franchise prospects interested in a Checkers/Rally's franchise opportunity. From the very first phone call, we seek to understand the passion that drives the aspirations of the prospect and exactly how that aligns with ours. We have an amazing franchise sales team that is based locally within their region to allow for easy travel access to the franchisees and markets they serve.

Our franchise opportunity is not for everyone, but we really connect with those energetic, goal-oriented restaurateurs who see the value in a proven operating system. Our brand is a perfect fit if you are as passionate as our fans and love food, growth and real opportunity more than any peer. If our visions align, we invite a select few to our Candidate Day monthly to meet individually with our Executive Team and experience a behind-the-scenes tour at a local restaurant as well as an introduction to our fantastic support teams.

With only 130 franchisees, we know every Checkers and Rally's franchisee personally and are connected to them and their businesses. It's this commitment to each franchisee that has allowed us to make innovations in our brand that have propelled us to lead the quick service hamburger category in same store sales for the past two years, rate highest in overall value with guests and score among the highest in franchisee satisfaction.


Kurt M. LandwehrKurt M. Landwehr
Vice President Franchise Development,
Regis Corp.

At Regis Corp. we are committed to using technology as much as possible to increase the speed and delivery of important information, and to enrich our candidates' experience in the discovery process. Yet, technology does not take the place of people, it simply enhances it!

We have a very specific investigation process that we lead all of our candidates through. The process is designed to share as much detailed information with people as possible to help them make an informed business decision. We combine the use of technology (webinars for example) with simple telephone communication, face-to-face meetings, and extended one-on-one time at discovery day. All are designed to enhance the connections we make with our prospects.

Where we really leverage technology in the development process is with lead generation. Gone are the days where we sift through stacks of unqualified Internet leads, trying to find the diamond in the rough. Today we deploy a digital lead generation campaign targeted at a very specific audience with a very specific message, which produces a much higher quality candidate entering our process.

We also leverage technology when working with franchise consultants. It is much easier to keep consultants informed on our brands by holding: Lunch & Learns, Consultant Cafes, and other educational opportunities, all done with the use of technology. We recognize that today's professional franchise consultants can help us target specific markets for growth and introduce us to high quality candidates who would never have thought of hair care on their own.

In my nearly twenty years in franchise development, if there is one thing that I have learned, it's that people make buying decisions based on emotion. Big parts of the emotional connection that our candidates have to our brands are the people they meet during the discovery process. Those relationships are not limited to their development representative. They can be: corporate employees, franchisees, vendors, and even other perspective franchisees they meet along the way! We demonstrate the depth and breadth of the organization to make people feel comfortable with their decision to move forward with Regis Corp.

Although technology has dramatically changed the way we conduct our business, from lead generation to awarding a franchise, what has not changed, is the importance of human connections throughout the process.

Published: September 9th, 2013

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