Have you ever noticed over the years that you come across a candidate that just seems to be a great fit for your franchise opportunity and all you have to do is lead them down a mutual exploration process to the sale? What do you think caused that to happen? Is it just a "bluebird" candidate that would have invested in the first franchise they looked at? Or was it a candidate that truly understood your concept and believed that there was a market for the product or service in their area? The answer is most likely all of the above except for the "bluebird" statement.
There is a great lesson to be learned from a candidate like this that profiles so perfectly for your business. So how do we use this knowledge as professional sales consultants to facilitate a lead generation program and a sales qualification process that attracts the right candidate along with a sales process that allows them to discover that there is a good match for their personal and business goals.
Profile, Profile, Profile is the key to more sales to higher qualified candidates. Knowing what the majority of your franchisees have in common that had attracted them to your franchise concept is a fantastic tool. You can use this information in determining where to advertise and what the message should delivere to create enough initial interest that allows the sales qualification process to start with that phone call or form fill.
Taking the time to survey your existing franchisees to discover what they do when they are not operating the business could be very helpful in making media decision for lead generation. Conducting a survey of your owners to find out what TV shows they watch, what radio stations they listen to, what publication they read, what professional backgrounds they came from can reap large rewards. This will now allow you to choose the correct media in which to search for candidates with "Like" personalities and traits that will get you in front of the correct audience. We have found with past clients that this targeting generates much less leads at higher costs but the end result of "cost per sale" and wear and tear on a sales team is a great benefit. If you are talking with the correctly profiled candidates you can focus your time and expertise to be more productive and helpful with candidates that have a high likelihood of becoming part of your system.
They have to believe in and love the product and service. They need to feel they are making a difference in the community they serve and that they can be the premier player in the market. This is a step that should be completed early in the process when possible.
They need to establish that the market will support their new venture by understanding the competition and how they match up so they can be competitive and win. This can be accomplished with homework assignments and an organized approach at shopping the competition and showing them how they will match up and what tools are provided to allow them to succeed.
They need to have the confidence to operate the business. This is accomplished by explaining to them the in-depth training, sharing the experiences of the key executives, and the support they can expect once they become part of the family. This can also be accomplished during the validation process by helping them seek out existing franchisees in similar markets and with similar prior careers.
They need to know the marketing works! Sharing your marketing plans, advertising pieces, your Internet presence and all the tools that have been created and have been successful attracting customers is a huge confidence builder. This can also be accomplished by proper disclosure in your FDD. Results, matrix, cost per customer acquisitions, and even average close rates can then be shared and then validated by talking with existing owners.
Finally, and most important to all candidates, is the ROI. This is an area that you can either be limited to your conversation because of your item 19 Financial Performance Representations, or be able to have a clear and concise conversation with your candidates on the actual operating number of the business. If you have decided not to give detailed information this process is much longer, frustrating, and has to be discovered by talking with existing owners.These points and other key differentiating factors need to be included in your sales qualification process.
In conclusion, spend your time and advertising budgets attracting candidates that have the best opportunity to fit your system and follow the process and award more franchises to higher quality individuals in the future.
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