Lead Generation: 4 Steps to High-Performance Marketing

By Steve Olson

I confess, I am still guilty. I bet you are, too!

Ever wish for a marketing miracle, hoping to discover the "magic bullet" that creates stampedes of buyers begging for your franchise? How about fantasizing that your $300 newspaper ad just generated 50 leads, and your franchise Internet ads deliver 100 percent qualified candidates who return all your phone calls?

Then suddenly, media reporters call you in sheer excitement about your press release, promising feature coverage in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and on the major network channels. And just a second! Your phone light is flashing fiery red with 40 urgent messages from prospects you met at this weekend's franchise show! Just think, if we could all leisurely ease out of bed, stroll to work, and piled on our desks find stacks of outrageously qualified applications anxiously awaiting our response...

Then the dream turns into a nightmare and we wake up screaming, still facing the elusive, changing, and unexpected challenges of franchise lead generation. Frustration still haunts our calculating minds as we search for answers to find the perfect plan for attracting sensational candidates to our franchise opportunity.

Learn the secrets of recruitment marketing

Questions echo constantly throughout our industry:

What kind of ads work the best?
What's the most successful source for getting sales?
Where shall I spend my ad dollars?
How much will it cost for me to bring in new franchisees?
What are the best ways to attract buyers?
What's new and different in lead generation?

Great news! Answers to all of these marketing questions lie right in front of you. Sometimes you just don't realize it, or are trying to shortcut the process. Don't bypass sacred direct marketing principles, because you will suffer. Investing time in systematically evolving your lead generation campaign will pay off in greater leads and sales. With some research, digging, and testing, you'll shape your own prospecting bullets for lead generation success. But before you can construct surefire marketing successes you must begin with self-discovery. Once you learn the science of franchise lead generation, recruitment becomes a predictable process you can control and improve.

All franchisors quickly discover that an effective step-by-step selling process is essential to their growth. But many continue to chase windmills with their marketing, not realizing that effective lead generation also demands an effective, step-by-step process! Implement the principles described in this article (and the ones to follow) and you can increase your prospecting success by 30 percent or more within 4 months.

Welcome to high-performance marketing

The material in this mini-series is designed to boost your leads, reduce your costs, and accelerate your franchise sales. It reveals the four benchmarks to successful lead generation that high-growth franchisors use to expand their brands. More than 40 franchisors have each invested thousands of consulting dollars to help them implement this marketing process. Engage your resources to embrace these principles and you'll have the opportunity to produce more qualified buyers at lower costs. You'll learn to:

  • better target your ideal franchise candidates;
  • promote the key "Wow" factors that can attract your buyers;
  • design your ads and website to trigger greater response;
  • generate more prospects through free and low-cost sources;
  • develop a realistic budget to achieve your marketing goals;
  • build a better lead generation program for your concept;
  • drive greater qualified leads from your online recruitment;
  • implement marketing follow-up tools to increase applications; and
  • gain marketing intelligence to effectively respond to changes in the marketplace and buyer attitudes.

How to achieve success

Actually, the principles of high-performance marketing are simple. I hope this doesn't disappoint you. But it's always the execution that grows the champions, and this is no different. Franchising is a blueprint for success, built on truisms such as "If you work the plan the plan will work" and "Follow the system and you can be successful." It's no different for jump-starting a powerful lead generation program. Here's the time-tested, four-part formula to fuel explosive marketing performance for your franchise expansion:

Step 1: Define your market of qualified prospects.
Step 2: Create your message that motivates buyer response.
Step 3: Determine the lead sources that reach your buyers.
Step 4: Measure results to improve performance.

Next month: Step 1, Define your market of qualified prospects: Who is your ideal franchise buyer?; and 2) Step 2, Create your message that motivates buyer response: What motivates your buyer?

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

Published: November 2nd, 2011

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