The fundamental question for all franchise brands is how to achieve more effective recruitment of franchisees.
So how do you or your franchise recruitment team best engage with the potential franchisee to get them on board?
Steve Olsen, a 30 year franchise veteran and the author of Grow to Greatness: How to Build a World-Class Franchise System Faster, says on Franchise Update: “Franchise sales pros gain the edge by moving directly into their prospect’s world. They probe, read, adapt and outsell their competition by fully understanding and responding to how their candidates think and behave.”
Here are some suggestions on ways to better engage the potential franchisee
1. Buyers want an immediate response
We’re a society used to immediate gratification, speedy service, and quick responses. Why would it be any different when you’re enquiring about a business opportunity?
Effective franchise recruiters stay ahead of the competition with a process for responding swiftly to lead enquiries.
2. Potential franchisees need to learn how to buy a franchise
Are you driving the timelines and agenda with your potential franchise buyers? For most of them, buying a franchise is a first, and they probably don’t understand the process and time scale involved.
Keep the purchase on track through clear leadership and direction.
3. It’s all about relationships
Franchising has relationships at its heart, and it starts early on when potential franchisees are investigating the brands.
Franchise recruiters who concentrate on building a connection with the franchise buyer rather than focus on selling the brand put themselves at an advantage.
4. What are the right questions to ask?
Some people find questions intimidating, but for most franchise buyers being asked questions is a sign that the franchisor is interested in them, their experience and their ambitions.
This links to relationship building – finding out about the prospective franchisee and their family is just part of creating a picture of whether or not they and the brand are well-matched.
5. What are you telling them?
Rather than going to great lengths to detail all the elements of the franchise that you believe make it distinct, focus on what franchise buyers really want to know – what will this investment do for them?
They want to know if your business can provide the benefits they are seeking in a franchise opportunity.
First class franchise recruiters will be able to define the benefits without overselling the business; they will be comfortable with a realistic representation of the franchise rather than casting it in a golden glow that will inevitably wear off.
Of course attention to detail is important.
As Olsen says “Every word you utter to a prospect is recorded in their memory bank. What you say and do will greatly influence their investigation.”
And because franchise buyers are desperate for knowledge, your communications with them are the perfect opportunity to present your brand as a thought leader in the marketplace. You could for instance offer insights into franchising, your particular sector, the challenges of business ownership.