If there were a tool that could help you land more qualified leads and close more deals, wouldn't you want to know about it--and use it--yesterday? There is. And if you're not using Google Analytics, you should be, says Boris Bugarski CEO and president of mUrgent, a company that specializes in franchise websites.
Each year, as part of the Leadership & Development Conference, Franchise Update offers franchisor attendees the opportunity to have their sales operation mystery shopped. Our mystery shoppers pose as qualified prospects, phoning in to the franchise sales department, and submitting applications online. The results are presented at the conference in September, and made available in the Annual Franchise Development Report. Here's what we found.
Today's struggle for more qualified franchise candidates has ignited greater emphasis for companies to produce franchise leads within their systems. Last year, 38 percent of franchisors surveyed "incentivated" franchisees who referred prospects that bought their franchise. This year a whopping 65 percent do, according to the latest Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR). The study also reveals that referral sales continue to produce the highest closing ratios and continue as the number-two sales producer after Internet portals. These powerful stats are cause for more aggressive referral selling.
One of the most helpful services franchisors can provide to their franchisees is accounting direction and services. I am often astonished at how little guidance so many franchisors provide in this area. How will franchisees know if they are truly making money and operating effectively if they don't keep good books and receive information to help them run their businesses more effectively?
Rupert M. Barkoff
Many of us in the franchise sales business have watched franchise brokerage companies (aka consultant groups, referral networks, etc.) grow in both presence and stature and become a commonly used source of franchise leads and sales. Although there are no reports that can tell us exactly how many deals are being produced through these groups, we can do some deductive reasoning to understand how and where these organizations fit into franchising today.
Take two dozen franchise CEOs and presidents, add one expert facilitator, stir for a full day, and what do you get? The second annual CEO Summit, held in Chicago this past September as part of Franchise Update's Leadership & Development Conference. Behind closed doors and the promise of confidentiality, these franchise leaders rolled up their sleeves and spoke candidly with their peers about their common problems and concerns. We can, however, share some general observations, as well as highlights from the first-ever CEO Confidence Survey.
The importance of the "Mission Possible" theme was not lost on attendees at the 2009 Franchise Update Leadership & Development Conference this past September 23-25 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. Many had been at this same location, just one year before, when the simmering financial crisis came to a head and the federal government rushed in with billions in bailout funds.
Kerry Pipes and Eddy Goldberg
The Human Genome project, a rapidly developing area of genetics, is the subject of much conversation today. In classical genetics, the genome of an organism is a complete genetic sequence on one set of chromosomes. The ability to understand these building blocks of life will lead to medical breakthroughs that will transform our lives in the future. Metaphorically speaking, a "Franchise Genome" could be viewed as a manifestation of how a franchisor's DNA can be sequenced, understood, and passed along to franchisees.
Ready for 2010? Who isn't? The recession, lack of available funding, and shaky consumer confidence hit hard around the globe this year--and franchising was no exception. You don't need me to point out that is has been a tough year, but enough of that.
What a difference a year makes! This year's Franchise Update Leadership & Development Conference was a welcome breath of fresh air. After all, it was just one September before that the financial and economic walls came tumbling down amid financial institution shakeouts, government bailouts, and an unending barrage of negative economic news chronicling this country's worst recession in decades. If you had been listening in or observing at this year's conference you wouldn't have known any of those catastrophic events had even happened. Optimism was in the air.