The Four P's: Are you covering all four?
If you are reading this, you likely have a lot of experience selling your brand to prospective franchisees. Here is an approach to selling that has proven extremely effective for me over the years in selling more than 2,000 franchises in the brands I managed. I call it “The Four P’s.” Each P is important. You cannot complete the sale until you’ve successfully completed each of them. What are these four powerful P’s?
THE FIRST P IS PERSON
You must sell yourself as a <person,> an experienced, honorable, credible, honest, trustworthy, relatable, and resourceful person your prospect doesn’t just like, but believes in and wants to do business with. Until you have successfully completed this P, the other three won’t matter.
Many salespeople think that if they just get people to like them, that is enough. It isn’t. You must go deeper and create a connection and sense of trust. How do you do this? You make it the first step in your selling process and invest more time in it than you probably believe is necessary.
Spend a lot of time up front asking high-quality questions. Get to know their background. Have them feel fully heard. This will develop trust and the confidence that you truly understand them and are uniquely capable of helping them learn if your franchise is the right fit. You must be open to the possibility they are not. Only then will you present yourself in a way that truly builds trust. Focusing on the best interests of the prospect is critical. Take the time to share about yourself, your background, and why you do what you do. Let them see you as a person and develop a real bond.
If you’re not successful at completing the first P, you will rarely make a sale. This is the foundation. The rest of the sales process is built on it. The more time you spend here, the less you’ll need to spend on the other three.
THE SECOND P IS PLACE
Does your prospect trust that your place of business is one they want to work with? After the sales process they will not be working with you, they will be working with your place of business. They may love you, but if they don’t love your place of business they will not be in the state of trust they need to move forward.
Prospects must feel comfortable they will get the necessary support to be successful. A lot depends on your training systems, marketing tools, operations manual, etc. All of these must be executed well and presented well. Selling a prospect on your place of business is really about selling them on your culture and values.
How do you do this? Talk about the culture and the company values. Have the prospect talk to your franchise business consultant and the people they will be working with. If you have an onboarding team, have the prospect meet with them. Encourage them to take part in the validation process and ask other franchisees what it’s like working with your company.
THE THIRD P IS PRODUCT
No need to spend a lot of time here. This is something you’re likely very good at. To make the sale you must ensure that the prospect feels comfortable and likes the business you’re in. If they believe in you and your place of business but don’t believe in your product, you will not make the sale.
THE FOURTH P IS PROFITABILITY
Your prospect must <believe> they can effectively run your franchise system at a profit. It doesn’t matter to them that other people can, it only matters that they believe they can. If your Item 19 is wonderful that certainly works in your favor. But that’s not enough. Prospects must believe their skill set and your system will work for them. If your Item 19 isn’t perfect but you can show them how they can be successful in your system, you can still make the sale.
How do you do this? Provide <exceptional training> that helps owners apply best practices and avoid mistakes. Let prospects take your training courses before they buy to see how well your training ensures their success. Provide proven <marketing and advertising programs> that bring customers through the door. Don’t just talk about these programs, let your prospects see your materials and systems and kick the tires.
Introduce your prospects to current owners who can confirm that your franchise is highly profitable. Look for franchisees who have personality types similar to your prospect’s. The closer the match, the more comfortable prospects will feel that they too can be successful. Offer them a chance to spend time in a functioning franchise to see how it is run.
Provide prospects with a spreadsheet template listing the items they should include in their budgeting plans. This will give them the tool they need to think through the budgeting process and help them build confidence. <Be aware that assigning dollar values to each of those items could expose your franchise to legal liabilities.>
Of course, if you don’t believe a prospect will be successful, don’t sell them a franchise. I know it’s tempting, but in the long run it’s not good for your system.
The concept of the four P’s is very powerful. Every prospective franchisee must feel comfortable with all four, so be conscious that you cover all four in your sales process. Doing this will improve your sales results dramatically.
Evan Hackel, a 35-year franchising veteran, is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company, and principal and founder of Ingage Consulting. He is a speaker, author of Ingaging Leadership, and host of “Training Unleashed,” a podcast covering training for business. Contact him at evanspeaksfranchising.com, follow him at @ehackel, or call 781-820-7609.
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