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The Importance of Franchise Sales Knowledge for Franchisors

Franchise Sales

Harry Truman said: “The Buck Stops Here”.  In franchising the: “Buck Starts Here” and that’s having a thorough and complete understanding of the sales process.  Harry was right and franchisors need to take heed to his words.   If a franchisor wants to expand through franchising, he has to accept the full responsibility of the success of the sales effort.

Franchise Sales are very repeatable sale, and have very distinctive stages.   While there are lots of skills, and tasks needed to complete a deal, it’s important to understand the sales stages.

It is important to know the stages of the sales:

  • Sharing the process with you candidate is vital and show competency of the franchisor
  • Setting the expectation of the sales/buying process helps candidate understand his requirement and commitment needed.
  • Be aware of every stage with every candidate.
  • Understand all steps need to be completed.
  • The only two stages that need to take place in the exact order of the franchise signing will be Qualification and Grand Opening.
  • Stage do not always have to be completed in the same order- but they must be completed
  • If a stage is missed, the sales team needs to get it completed
  • Understand that to move a deal forward you have to know next stage

All the great franchises have a GREAT franchisor that can sell.  Whether a franchisor is driving an internal sales team, using outsourced sales or a broker network, it is important that the franchisor needs to direct the effort and be accountable for results.

Take the time to learn about franchises sales.  All great companies are lead by a Sales Leaders, as a matter of fact 95% of the Fortune 500 are led by a strong Sales Leader.   If you are not a great salesman, you can direct the sales.  Understanding sales can help you acquire talent and skills.

 

If you want “Bucks” you need to sell!

10 Ways to Market your Franchise

Franchising is a marketing and sales business, it takes a focused effort to build your franchise sales pipeline and establish your franchise network.  These tips should help you get started when you first franchise your business:

 

1.       Build your online presence online.  Today’s market for everything is transitioning to online.  Amazon and Netflix aren’t the only ones who are transitioning entirely to online business, the entire world has gone online.  Find ways to add to your presence and make the investment.  Add your franchise and your brand to as many listing sites as you can find, do it professionally and spend the time to get your brand in front of people who are already looking for a business.

2.       Work Social Media.  Everyone’s talking so much about social media that I’m sick of it.  That is….sick that I didn’t invest in Facebook when everyone else did.  Social media is here to stay and it is part of our lives, business, everything.  You need someone on your team who is driving traffic, formulating your message and pushing your franchise brand through social media.  It is easy to mess this up with corny, ill-prepared social media messages, it needs to be done right or you risk looking like an MLM.

3.       Redo Your Marketing Materials.  Trust me, people can tell you built your brochure on a word document with stock images.  Just because you PDF’d the presentation doesn’t mean that it looks professional.  Put the time and money into a presentation that is well thought out, professionally done and will actually warrant someone calling you back or responding to your email follow up.  Everyone is visual today, you need a good graphic designer who can present the franchise the right way. 

4.       Be Content Savvy.  The web is becoming more competitive for everything, particularly in the franchise space.  You need to be a thought leader in your market.  If you sell shoes, find something to write about shoes every week, make it engaging, interesting and spend the time coming up with thought provoking ideas that will build your followership.  Haven’t you heard the saying, “write about it and they will come”?

5.       Understand the Conversion.  Marketing is a multi-step process, don’t be good at getting the person’s attention and bad and getting them to contact you.  You are wasting your time on the prospecting part of marketing if people come to your site and don’t give you their contact information.  Build tools that are compelling, offer something to the visitor and give them a reason to want to get to know you. 

6.       Redo your Franchise Logo.  Someone said this to me the other day and it was like a brick hitting me in the chest.  My pride was hurt, but after looking at it, the comment hit home.  I bet the same is true for you, have a professional come up with something that means something and says something about your brand, not a 99Designs contest winner you didn’t put thought into.    

7.       Understand how Critical a Franchisee Is.  Franchisees deserve to criticize the brand they are about to invest in, that’s their right when they are the one making the investment.  Read through your website, find the spelling errors, know your presentation thoroughly enough to not lose a deal because you spelled “freind” wrong on your brochure. 

8.       Leverage your Connections.  The largest single category of franchise sales takes place through referrals (38%).  This may seem obvious for the large franchise brand that is driving referrals in by the hundreds because they have locations on every street corner, but you would be amazed how many times your vendors, friends, relatives, associates and others you know will be the early on franchise investors in new franchise systems as well.  Talk to people and present to them, it’s worth the time even if you feel embarrassed trying to sell your buddy a franchise. 

9.       Go to Franchise Events.  Franchise tradeshows and exhibitions can be expensive to take a booth out and exhibit your brand, but you can always go and attend these events.  The cost typically is very reasonable, just time and effort.  The people at these shows, events and networking opportunities can probably help you either find a franchisee or they might actually be the franchisee. 

10.   Work with Franchise Brokers.  Particularly when you are early on in your franchise system’s growth, you need all the help you can get from those who are willing to work on a commission basis with you.  Franchise Brokers spend their own money to generate leads for you.  Yes, you should pay 50% plus commissions if you are a newer franchise, it makes all the sense in the world, win with royalties and franchise validation. 

 

For more information on how to franchise your business or market your franchise, contact Christopher Conner, Franchise Marketing Systems:

Chris.Conner@FMSFranchise.com

How do I know when to Franchise My Business?

Most of us in business have considered the concept of franchise expansion at least one time in our business’ build up.  The idea of having other people invest in your business and then operate locations as independently owned and operated businesses under a common brand is a powerful concept, why wouldn’t you consider it?  Then of course reality hits and the question comes to the forefront, is my business ready to be franchised?  Do I have the right elements in place to franchise my business now?  Much of what is discussed during franchise consultations revolves around this common question business owners have who are considering the idea of franchise development.  So what indicators can you look to in order to know whether it is the right time to franchise the business?

 

First and foremost, let the market dictate your timing on franchising.  If customers are asking about opening locations, people are filling out your web contact form asking about franchises and you are getting calls from strangers asking how you started and whether you could help them start the business, the timing could be right.  Nothing is a better indicator as to whether you are ready to franchise then when the potential franchisees are already asking for the business and demanding the franchise.  After all, if you don’t franchise the business, these interested parties will either go elsewhere or just become your competition. 

 

Make sure the business is financially viable and showing profitability that would be enticing to a potential franchise investor.  Any franchisees that you would actually want to buy your franchise will look for numbers that make sense.  In today’s “Item 19 Driven” franchise market, the financials of your business are critical in being able to effectively sell your first franchises.  Good franchise models don’t need to make people millionaires with a single unit, they just need to show consistent income and a strong return on investment for what it takes to get the business open. 

 

Confirm that there is a consumer market demand for your product/service.  You want to see that people are asking for your product line or want your services in more places than where you are today.  If the demand is high, the franchisees will perform well when they open for business in their new market locations, if not, it’s tough to be a successful franchisor.  You typically can find market data on your industry growth online or purchase through industry research databases. 

 

Is your business replicate-able yet?  Some indicators of this are if you are able to hire staff and keep them, put people in leadership positions successfully, open additional company owned businesses and teach what you do every day.  Entrepreneurs that make good franchisors are typically further along in their development as business people and get the idea of delegation, management and putting people in positions to succeed. 

 

For more information as to whether your business is ready to franchise, contact us:

info@franchisemarketingsystems.com

 

How to Franchise:  Managing the Franchise Development Process

When you take your business into the franchise market, there are a multitude of responsibilities, requirements and strategic initiatives that must be addressed in order to make this transition work.  One of the key elements of a successful franchise expansion model is understanding the franchise marketing and franchise sales process that will work for you and your business model.

It is important to do a self-evaluation as a business owner and soon to be franchisor, how good of a salesperson are you?  As a new franchisor, even with the support of a franchise development team and franchise brokers, you will still be a key element of the franchise sales process.  The franchisee ultimately buys into a franchise system because they believe in and connect with the owner of the company.  Particularly with a new franchisor, the owner’s involvement in the franchise sales process is critical.  So if you take a look in the mirror and decide that you aren’t the right person for the job, then it might be an opportunity to bring in a franchise development manager.

Then it’s time to consider franchise marketing and lead generation.  The franchise sales process requires a strong and consistent inbound marketing effort in order to generate franchise sales.  Luckily, there are countless ways to generate franchise leads and get your brand out in front of potential investors. It starts with the Internet and utilizing franchise portals or franchise lead directories, these are simple and easy ways to generate franchise leads quickly for a brand.  In most cases these leads are looking at a variety of brands at one time, so the lead quality isn’t the greatest, but you will get consistent lead flow and candidates from these sites.  You then need to consider driving traffic to your corporate site through SEO, Pay Per Click and direct marketing methods, this can be more expensive, time consuming and long-term, but worth the effort to build traffic for your specific franchise.  Franchise Public Relations work can be extremely effective to find franchise buyers through building your brand awareness through news, articles and other PR sources.  In addition there are countless franchise tradeshows in virtually every market across the United States.  The key is always lead volume….getting enough candidates to speak with to find the right buyer for your franchise model.  Generally it requires about 150 leads per franchise sale.

Once you have your marketing process defined, it’s time to get a good franchise sales process in place.  A solid franchise sales process should be enticing to the buyer to get into the sales funnel and also one that qualifies the buyer carefully to make sure that it will be a good match.  You should have a franchise CRM in place to manage the leads and be able to report on leads as to where they are in the buying process.  There are countless, affordable franchise CRM’s on the market.  A franchisor should have a caller or someone who is tasked with tracking down the candidates and doing the initial calls to get people engaged in the sales process.  Good franchise sales people are great at developing activity and making a high volume of calls each day.  Email marketing, lead nurturing programs and other sales techniques can supplement calling.  Once you get franchise candidates deeper into the sales process, you will want to invite them to a discovery day to experience the franchise model in person.  Here is where you as the owner, or your Franchise Development Manager needs to shine and really connect with the buyer, it is the point in the process where the actual sale takes place.

Many different businesses have successfully utilized franchising as a growth mechanism, it can be done successfully with different personality types, industry segments and business models.  The key is to have a good understanding as to what is required to make this model work and then plan appropriately.

 

For more information on how to franchise your business, contact Christopher Conner:

Chris.Conner@FMSFranchise.com