Franchise development and franchise sales are like any other sales process, you have a product, you should have a defined buyer and you need to get your product in front of this buyer, the difference in a franchise sales process is that you are selling intellectual property, this is different for most salespeople and takes some time to transition to get comfortable with the process.
1. Have Patience
If you haven’t sold a franchise before, this process takes time and focus. Most franchise transactions take in excess of 90 days and can take as long as a year to complete the sale. There are endless variables in place as to how a franchise transaction will impact the buyer’s life….family….financial future and lifestyle will all be impacted by this decision, don’t rush it, don’t push the timeline.
Buyers need to be supported, guided and communicated with when it comes to buying a franchise. If you do your job as a franchise salesperson, you will be there for the buyer providing real, authentic support, data and information to them as they work through the evaluation process.
2. Have a Management System
Having a qualified management system in place to manage the process, lead flow and communications with buyers is essential. Implement a franchise sale CRM and you can expect better results from the franchise development campaign.
By effectively tracking, reporting and evaluating the franchise sales data you can make better decisions regarding your market, business development and franchise sales team. Franchise Marketing Systems has an approved CRM that works well throughout this process,
3. Define Your Buyer Profile and Characteristics
Having worked with a wide variety of different franchises and business models, some industries and franchises require certain skill sets (Sales, business development, prospecting, client management, etc) while others may be completely different (Retail, Food Service, Technical, etc).
Create a solid buyer profile and stick to it. Make sure that buyers fill out an evaluation form, and that they answer the questions completely and accurately in order for you to draw a conclusion as to whether they are the right fit for your business. Then comes the hard part….say no to candidates that don’t meet your qualification requirements….even when they have the money.
4. Have a Good Sales Team in Place to Manage the Process
It typically takes in excess of 150 leads to close a franchise sale, you need to have a lot of manpower in place to manage this lead flow and to appropriately call the leads the 6-10 times required to get a candidate on the phone and to appropriately deliver the value proposition. We typically recommend at least 3 stages and people involved in the sales process.
The owner of the company should not be involved until the END of the sales process – build the perceived value in what and WHO they get when they purchase the franchise model. Don’t give them access to the head of the company early on in the sales process.
5. Know Your Market
Don’t go into the franchise sales process without a complete market evaluation and competitive overview. You can’t answer a buyer’s question of “how do you compare with them?” with….”Well, I’ve never heard of them”, or “I don’t know much about them” and sound like you know your industry. Having the information up front and ready is part of being able to sell franchises effectively. We recommend a good strategic plan and market research program prior to launching a franchise sales campaign.
6. Have Your Ducks in a Row
Make sure that your FDD, franchise state registrations and complete franchise legal documentation are in place to effectively and legally offer a franchise. Remember, you can’t even market a franchise legally before you have gone through this process, make sure you cover your bases prior to launching a franchise sale campaign.