Stop Selling! 5 "power secrets" for awarding franchises
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Stop Selling! 5 "power secrets" for awarding franchises

Stop Selling!  5

What is the best way to sell franchises? Since the answer evolves over time, franchise salespeople also must evolve. The following five “power selling secrets” for franchise systems are designed to give you new, powerful tools to be successful. They should not be confused with a complete sales methodology that involves qualifying buyers, handling objections, and other selling basics. I’ll assume you and your sales team already have those skills. Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Secret #1: Detach

As Bob Gappa of Management 2000 says, “You award franchises. You do not sell them.” The goal in franchising is finding the right person for your system, not just a buyer. Your goal is to find the right match, not to make the sale. But you know this.

Not being attached to the outcome is about your state of mind. If you come from a need or desire to make a sale, your energy and emotional connection with the prospect will be tarnished. The prospect will feel your pressure. The only way to resolve that problem is not to be attached to closing the prospect. Instead, focus on really understanding prospects in a neutral way and supporting them as they learn about your opportunity. This shifts you from being a salesperson to a trusted advisor.

Secret #2: Listen

My good, late friend Dave Gheesling used to have a saying: “Don’t spill your marbles in the lobby.” What he meant was that if you are a salesperson going to a meeting, don’t be so excited that you share everything in the lobby before getting to the meeting room. Your first goal when connecting with a prospect is to get to know them and to understand their dreams and vision. Go deep into their story and understand their “why.” If you do this, you will connect and build trust in a very deep way.

Secret #3: Be neutral

There’s a tendency for salespeople to try to come off as a confidant and speak in a way that the prospect feels the seller’s confidence. That may seems to make sense, but it is not the most effective way to create a strong bond. It clearly defines you as a person, not a trusted advisor. It’s better to create a feeling of safety so a prospect feels comfortable and will open up. Let them know from the beginning that you may or may not have their solution. Here are some examples of statements that reinforce this deeper connection:

“I look forward to talking to see if we possibly have the right opportunity for you.”

“I just want to let you know that we may not be the right fit. I’m focused on helping you determine that. If you end up deciding we’re not a good match, I’m okay with that.”

“Before we continue, just so you know, I’m going to ask you a lot of questions to determine if we’re a good fit or not.”

Secret #4: Connect 

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “People buy with emotions and justify with facts.” Yet most salespeople focus on facts, details, and features. If you connect emotionally, you will significantly improve your results. Here are some examples of probing questions to bring out emotions:

“You’ve mentioned that you’d really like to be a business owner. How would that make you feel?”

“Starting a new franchise is a big project. How are you going to feel on the day you open?”

“Five years from now when you’re looking back at what you successfully accomplished, describe how that will make you feel.”

Secret #5: Stop selling

We tend to do the selling, which can lead prospects into resistance mode. If we change the dynamic so prospects sell themselves, our likelihood of success improves astronomically. This is done by asking the right questions in two phases. First, ask questions that encourage prospects to define their goals. Do this by asking questions such as:

• “What are you trying to achieve by buying a franchise?”

• “What are the things you’re looking for in choosing the right franchise to buy?”

• “What type of franchise system do you think would be ideal for you and why?”

Second, ask questions that encourage prospects to validate that your franchise will help them achieve those goals (or not):

• “You’ve seen a presentation of our franchise system. Can you tell me what about it would make you feel comfortable that it will let you achieve your goals?”

• “When we talked earlier, you mentioned _____ and _____ that were important to you in making your decision. Did you see those things in our franchise opportunity? Why do you think owning our franchise would help you reach those goals?”

• “Please share with me why you think our franchise concept would be a good fit for you.”

Selling is an ever-progressive skill, something we get to keep working on. Shifting from being a salesperson to being a trusted advisor is key to succeeding. These five power selling secrets are designed to help you achieve exactly that.

Evan Hackel is CEO of Ingage Consulting and Delta Payment Systems and an advisor to Tortal Training. He is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who has been instrumental in launching more than 20 businesses and has managed a portfolio of brands with systemwide sales topping $5 billion. He is the creator of Ingaged Leadership and author of Ingaging Leadership Meets the Younger Generation. Reach him at, 781-820-7609, or

Published: November 12th, 2023

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