With 80% of Signings via Broker Referrals, FCI Sees Changes in Sales Rep Role
We asked Richard Leveille, Vice President of Franchise Development at Floor Coverings International: “Do you work with franchise brokers? Why? What has your experience been?” Here’s what he had to say.
I believe in using franchise brokers to drive quality referrals. This has been part of Floor Coverings International for many years. Having done it many ways, when developing our strategy several years ago, we could not overlook the fact that our experience of the cost of a traditional lead generation program versus a broker strategy netted a similar result. In fact, the results of a strong broker strategy seemed to lean a bit more positive.
Today we generally end up with 80 percent of our franchisees through broker referrals from the major networks. The interesting dynamic is that the role of the franchise development representative changes quite a bit. The job now requires that the representative be responsible for their own lead generation, as a relationship based on trust and integrity must be developed between the broker and company representative.
A good concept is a must, but brokers simply will not refer their precious candidates to a representative they don’t trust to lead them through a respectful sales process and ultimately award the franchise, earning them a referral commission. Yes, it’s a bit of a love-hate relationship as the fees are high, but executed effectively this approach can drive very high-quality candidates.
Floor Coverings International is a very solid business, but is often overlooked as its “curb appeal” might not be as strong as a branded product with more consumer appeal. Brokers, with their consultative process and client trust, can explain with firsthand knowledge how “sexy” a business like ours can be, therefore filling the sales funnel with the right candidates. It’s definitely working as our growth is strong!
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