Flawed Strategic Thinking Drives Serious Franchisee Leads to Disqualify Brands

Why do serious people seeking a business opportunity disqualify franchise brands and consultants from consideration? Here are five inter-related cultural and franchisor strategic questions that, if ignored, will cause serious leads to disqualify you from serious consideration. 

1. Do you treat franchisee development as a business in its own right?

As brands begin to scale, they can often struggle with franchisee development. That’s because the knowledge and experience to do it well isn’t typically part of the operations, finance or customer excellence skill sets of most owners and investors.

We treat franchisee development as a business within your business. It has a group of needs completely different from running your franchise overall. Recognizing this, and then properly staffing, funding and executing around a set of realistic recruitment goals can put you on a pathway to success.

Unfortunately, too many franchisors try to fix a faltering franchisee development program with band-aids; neglecting the thought needed to resolve the root causes of problems. Dealing with symptoms is just a whole lot easier.

Tactical fixes make everyone feel good. But, re-imagining a 21st Century version of franchisee recruitment requires digging deeper.

So, to dig deeper, franchisors must harmonize three strategic areas critical to franchisee recruitment.

  • Storytelling
  • Finding, then Nurturing Serious Leads
  • Intelligently and Efficiently Managing People Through Your Process

Think of each of these areas as a leg on a stool. If the legs aren’t aligned, then the stool wobbles, essentially making it useless.

Do nothing and watch as serious leads disqualify you.

2. Does Fear Prevent You From Moving Forward?

Brands can become paralyzed by the breadth and depth of change needed to adapt to the needs of serious leads. The smaller the brand, the more daunting the challenges.

Smaller brands aren’t often blessed with tens of thousands of dollars laying around to “experiment” or try something new; so, fear of making a mistake stifles decision-making.

But time kills deals. Time also kills brands unable to adapt. It’s time to step up and either hire or outsource the skills to upgrade your franchisee recruitment methods. The market isn’t waiting. Brands that grab an early mover advantage will prosper; while laggards will eventually fall by the wayside.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

3. Do You Lack the Expertise to Direct These Changes?

The skill sets needed to address both franchisee recruitment technology and people’s evolving behavior aren’t sitting across the room at most franchisors. Many brands have consumer marketing pros or agencies supporting franchisees.

However, these same highly-talented people are inexperienced in the “black art” of franchisee recruitment and the psychological journey a serious lead embarks on in the Internet Age and the behaviors to look for and what they mean. You hired them to drive traffic into your locations; not recruit franchisees.

Giving franchisee recruitment insufficient support or forcing developers to work with meager lead generation budgets or whatever software is around or cheap is commonplace.

Ownership and leadership need to step up and either acquire or outsource the knowledge needed to reliably scale the business.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

4. How Much has the Internet Disrupted Traditional Notions of Franchisee Development?

Every generation from 1995 forward has been reshaped by the Internet. Consumers complete almost 75% of brand research for high-end goods and services on the web before making a call or a visit. Your storytelling needs to meet a higher standard of excellence or these serious leads will disqualify you. So, ask yourself, do we tease, do we hide information or do we educate on our website?

Text messaging has rapidly changed the franchisee development communication landscape. Today’s serious leads comfortably text back and forth with your developer before engaging. What does that do to old-fashioned “dialing for dollars” models?

Your brand franchise website is now expected to tell your whole story. It’s not just a brochure or a page off your consumer website. This forces brands to dig deeper to articulate their competitive differentiation. A test: if you can put your brand name on a competitor’s website, then something’s wrong with your story.

All brands are coming to grips with ever rising lead generation costs. Can you harness the vast potential of social media and online advertising to create an affordable qualified prospect? Can these newer channels become a game changer or just one more money drain to get leads? How do these leads convert compared to other channels? Stay tuned.

The FPS solutions regularly achieve up to 50% more signed agreements with no incremental lead gen investment on your part.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

5. Do You Realize Serious Leads Now Hold Most of the Cards?

Leads now control the research process. In fact, 75% of their research is already done before first contact. Serious leads expect complete and transparent information about your brand. So, a solid story and a dedicated franchisee recruitment website are now table stakes with serious leads. These serious leads engage when they’re ready; not before. So you encourage them to do that by delivering a brand education experience that gets them emotionally and rationally invested in your franchise opportunity.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

Recruitment Reports No Franchisor Should Live Without

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By Dug Aylen, Co-Founder & COO

These reports showcase important aspects of recruitment pipeline activity. These critical performance metrics are often scattered;
if available at all.

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Fast growing brands can easily slip into one or more of these traps as they tackle the challenges of rapid growth. Avoid them or risk hitting speed bumps along the journey.

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