We asked Jeff Cox, president and CEO of Colors on Parade, what changes he’s planning for the brand’s lead generation practices in 2015. Here’s what he had to say.
In 2015, we plan to continue to shift more resources toward PR and social media. The quality of the leads we have seen from these sources over the past year have reinforced our commitment to move toward lead generation techniques that allow us to share our story and to attract candidates that are a great fit for us. Our franchise is unique in several ways, so finding the right franchisee is critical to our success. Leads coming from sources that educate the candidate on our brand and business before first contact tend to be better qualified, which allows us to spend time with the best candidates.
Another recent change in our lead generation strategy has been to focus our efforts on a few target groups, rather than taking a broader approach. We are seeing positive results from limiting our advertising and contact efforts to groups that fit our “ideal franchisee” model closely. This focus allows us to spend our limited time and resources more efficiently as we determine which groups are the best targets. Once we have our franchisee leads, then the hard part starts.
Based on recent positive results, our franchise sales efforts will continue to focus on the development of relationships to find the right fit for our brand. We have seen increasingly better closing results from our efforts to build relationships over time with the leads we receive. Our sales cycle for new area developer franchisees can range from 6 to 24 months. So we focus on getting to know these candidates who are months away from becoming Colors on Parade franchisees. The process is slow, but the success rate is very high. We know the factors related to success in our franchise pretty well. Over time, we get a very good idea of how each candidate fits into the “ideal franchisee” model.
Ultimately, the relationships developed during the franchising process builds connections to other prospects, including clients, franchisees, and employees. This foundation is producing positive results – even when the initial candidate turns out to not be a good fit for our franchise. Our business model needs area developer franchisees, operator franchisees, and technician employees, so we can use the relationships developed to find a number of different prospects for our franchise family. The approach fits our culture and people, so at the end of the day, it comes pretty naturally.
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