Profiling Success: Raise Your Odds of Finding Great Candidates
Have you ever noticed over the years that you come across a candidate who seems to be a perfect 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 who would have invested in the first franchise they looked at? Or was it a candidate who truly understood your concept and believed there was a market for the product or service in their area?
There are great lessons to be learned from a candidate who 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 there is a good match for their personal and business goals?
Profile, profile, profile. This is the key to more sales to better-qualified candidates. Knowing what the majority of your franchisees have in common that attracted them to your franchise concept is a fantastic tool. Use this information to determine where to advertise, and what your message should deliver, to create enough initial interest to allow 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 decisions 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, and what professional backgrounds they came from can reap large rewards.
Learning this will allow you to choose the correct media to search for candidates with similar personalities and traits, and will get you in front of the correct audience. We have found that this kind of targeting generates many fewer leads at higher cost--but the end results of lower cost per sale and reduced wear and tear on your sales team are the upsides. Talking with candidates you have correctly profiled allows you and your team to focus your time and expertise to be more productive and helpful with candidates who have a high likelihood of becoming part of your system.
5 key points
Candidates must know the following five points to feel confident in signing on with your brand:
- Sampling the product or service. Candidates must believe in and love the product or 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. When possible, this is a step that should be completed early in the process.
- Establishing a need for the product or service in their market. Candidates 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 by providing them with "homework assignments" and an organized approach to shopping the competition, and showing them how they will match up and what tools are provided to help them succeed.
- Confidence to operate the franchise unit. Candidates must have the confidence in their ability to operate the business. This is accomplished by explaining to them your 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 previous careers.
- Ability to attract customers at a reasonable cost. Candidates need to know that the marketing works! Sharing your marketing plans, advertising pieces, 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 acquisition, and even average close rates can then be shared and validated by talking with existing owners.
- Have a reasonable ROI. 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 FPR, 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 must be discovered by speaking with existing owners.
These five points, along with other key differentiating factors, have to be included in your sales qualification process. Spend your time and advertising budgets attracting candidates who have the best opportunity to fit your system and follow the process, and award more franchises to higher-quality individuals.
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