<Editor's note: This is part 2 of a serialized version of a recent e-book from Franchise Performance Group called Why Your Franchise Sales Process Is a Disaster: What a breakthrough franchise sales process looks like. For Part 1, click here.>
The way candidates buy franchises has changed significantly, and a lot of franchisors have been caught off guard, exposing flaws in their recruitment processes, skills, and systems. For instance, sometimes franchise sales people, especially less skilled ones, will tell us, "I don't even want to talk to somebody unless they're qualified, they send in a financial statement, and I run a credit report." They have set up hurdles they want a candidate to jump over before they're even ready to have a conversation.
My business partner, Thomas Scott, typically responds, "I bet you only want to buy winning lottery tickets, too." Maybe that's the way it's always been done, but it's inconsistent with how people buy franchises today. A franchise sale, when it's done right, is a simple, friendly give-and-take of information: You give a little, you get a little.
A franchise buyer has a series of questions and concerns as they try to wrap their mind around your opportunity. Every candidate has a "franchise buying process," and that buying process is highly consistent across brands, industries, and investment levels. If your franchise sales process isn't consistent with how candidates buy, deals don't happen.
And to the unskilled franchisor, it will look like the franchise candidate derailed the process, when the responsibility really is squarely on the franchisor's shoulders.
I have two brothers who are educators, and there's a saying in education, "We haven't taught until they've learned." They would even go on to say, "There's almost no such thing as teaching, there's only facilitated learning." If you carry that logic into franchise sales, there is no such thing as franchise sales. There's only facilitated franchise buying.
I ask the franchise sales people reading this article to think about the last franchisee they recruited. At the end of the process, what was your relationship with the new franchisee? Did it feel like a buy-sell, transactional relationship? Or was it something different?
When we ask those questions most franchise sales people say, "You know, the relationship is actually more of a friendship. I was a trusted adviser, I was a facilitator, I was a friend, I was a confidant." Then when you ask them, "When's the last time you actually remember feeling like a sales person?" What they say is, "When people aren't buying." In other words, they only feel like sales people when they're employing typical hard-sell techniques that sales people pull out when the process is breaking down.
Franchise buyers don't want to be sold. They want to be helped. They want to be supported. They want to be consulted with. They want to own a business, but they don't want to be sold the business.
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