The franchise development website serves as a vital tool for driving sales and achieving multiple objectives for franchise brands simultaneously. These objectives encompass lead generation, prospect pre-screening, brand storytelling, and the facilitation of expansion in targeted markets.
For potential franchisees, websites play a pivotal role as they typically explore various brands to identify the most favourable economic prospects and the optimal path to success. Franchisors should operate under the assumption that individuals who submit lead forms on their website are concurrently evaluating offerings from six other websites.
Given these considerations, it is imperative for franchisors to gain insights into the motivations of their website visitors and adeptly address their requirements. This understanding can be the decisive factor in either securing a successful franchisee or losing them to a competing brand.
Five key points for your franchise development website
Here are five important points to ensure that your website enhances rather than hinders your franchise development endeavours.
1. Engagement in your brand narrative
Encouraging prospects to envision themselves within your brand narrative is very important. An effective strategy for this the utilisation of real franchisee stories. For instance, the use of videos can showcase authentic franchisees discussing their journeys with your brand and the remarkable successes they’ve achieved as a result. Many prospective franchisees are driven by the aspiration of becoming their own bosses, and showcasing individuals who can substantiate their accomplishments with a specific brand can create a compelling and engaging experience.
The approach to this strategy may vary depending on the brand’s profile. Well-established brands may communicate their brand pedigree as a valuable asset to franchisees. In contrast, emerging franchise brands may position themselves as being in a ‘rapid growth phase’, leveraging their innovative concepts. In the case of newer brands, testimonials may emphasise the ‘brand promise’ rather than the ‘brand history’.
2. Match your financial information sharing with the prospect strategy
Your website, as a primary lead-generation tool, should serve as a platform to emphasise the franchise’s value proposition and ignite enthusiasm among potential franchisees. It’s a common dilemma for franchisors to determine how to educate prospects about financial prerequisites without discouraging them from the opportunity.
Clarifying the financial landscape can help identify and filter out prospects who may not have the means to commit, even with potential financing options. That said, if you do collaborate with financing partners, this early stage can be a great way of introducing this into the conversation.
Another consideration is whether your franchise is divulging the appropriate level of financial information. Some franchise development websites provide a high-level overview of investments and expenses, while others present a detailed breakdown of every financial aspect. Striking the right balance between what to reveal at this stage versus what to reserve for later in the sales process lies somewhere in the middle.
3. Plan for efficient lead generation and follow-up
The lead form continues to be the prevailing method to guide prospects towards engagement. However, an increasing number of brands are diversifying their channels by incorporating chats and text messaging, which can be managed by either a bot or a live person.
FranConnect’s Sales Accelerator uses artificial intelligence to boost sales effectiveness via AI-based automated sales follow-up, scheduling, and nurturing. This means that franchisors can benefit from AI to convert more leads into deals. Lots of the legwork of the sales process such as instant follow up of leads can be done beautifully via AI.
Unlike humans, the AI can provide support 24 hours a day, and can automatically contact prospects when appointments are missed and re-book.
4. Deliver a high-quality, mobile-friendly user experience
Now, potential customers are conducting research on their smartphones more than ever. Therefore, brands need to adapt their online presence accordingly. No matter the content on your website, it is crucial to provide a seamless user experience on both mobile devices and desktop computers. Implementing mobile-friendly strategies, such as responsive design tailored to the user’s device, optimising files for fast loading, and streamlining the design, can greatly improve navigation and reading experiences.
5. Distinguish your brand by showcasing authenticity and transparency
Prospects are not just evaluated; they are enticed to delve into a brand as they eagerly seek to learn more. Development websites play a pivotal role in fulfilling these functions. During the lead-generation stage, it is crucial to emphasise the brand’s support, training, and enablement. These encompass everything from robust relationships with franchise business consultants to the provision of cutting-edge innovation tools that ensure surpassing competition.
While many brands do host annual conventions for franchisees, they often miss the chance to promote these events as effective selling tools. The opportunity to network with fellow franchisees, gain insights into new developments, and engage with top management can prove highly appealing to potential prospects.
Learn more about the services that FranConnect can offer franchisors looking to grow their franchise network at: https://www.franconnect.com/solutions-overview/sell-more-units/