If you aren’t currently working with franchise brokers and consultants to help find your next franchisee you should seriously consider it.
Franchise brokers are a large contributor to the franchise sales process for almost every franchisor. During the IFA Convention this year in Las Vegas, I met with many franchisors and asked them all the same question: “How many of your franchises are sold by franchise brokers?” The answer was always “over 50 percent.”
Working directly with franchisors, franchise brokers and consultants has enabled me to identify what works for franchisors and what works for brokers. The following list is not in order of importance, but rather suggestions of what should be done first, second, third and so on. This list assumes you’re already working with a group of franchise brokers and consultants. If you aren’t currently working with a franchise broker group, there are many to choose from and I suggest you work with multiple groups.
1 UPDATE YOUR FRANCHISE LISTING
Make sure that your franchise listing is completely up to date. If you were selling your house, would you use outdated photos or other outdated information? Have you updated your listing to reflect the accurate number of units you currently have? Franchise brokers are very particular and many have specific requirements to consider showing a franchise to a client. For example, if a broker will only show franchises, with 20 or more units, and your 25+ unit franchise is still showing 15 units, you have caused a missed opportunity.
2 SHARE ANY NEW UPDATES ABOUT YOUR BRAND
Was your franchise just featured in a news article? Don’t just share this with your potential franchisees; share it with your brokers too. Sometimes reading a news article about your brand can help brokers better understand certain aspects of your business model. Many times this will help them better present your franchise to candidates. There have been times when I couldn’t really connect with a concept by reading the franchise’s own description of their company, but simply watching a oneminute news clip helped me to completely connect with what the franchise had to offer.
3 GET THE BROKERS TO KNOW YOU – NOT JUST THE BRAND
The franchisor / broker relationship is many times more about the two individuals than it is about the franchise itself. Meet the brokers; get to know them personally and deals will happen. This business is about building relationships. Getting the brokers to know the people behind the franchise is just as important as them learning about the franchise itself. If your CEO has a great story to tell, try to get him or her to connect with the brokers. Brokers need that same emotional connection to your brand that you present to your candidates, and when they make this connection they are much more likely to present your brand.
4 MEET THE LOCAL BROKERS IN YOUR AREA
This is the easiest thing to do. Often people will tell me they are “too busy” to attend more meetings. Find the time to get out every other week for a lunch meeting. Offer to take a local broker to lunch to get to know them: not a sales pitch or presentation, a lunch like you would do with your coworkers. Get to know them and have them get to know you. Brokers sometimes need to make a stronger connection with you and your brand to add your franchise to their list of franchises to show candidates.
5 INVITE BROKERS TO YOUR DISCOVERY DAYS
Consider inviting brokers to the same Discovery Day that you host for potential franchisees. Having a broker attend your Discovery Day is one of the best ways to have brokers connect with you and your brand. Offer them the same perks as you would to your potential franchisees (paid travel, lunch, dinner etc.) The education they will get from your Discovery Day will be exactly what they need to understand your brand and present it to their clients.
Working with brokers is much more than listing your company with a broker group. The more effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
To learn more about how the IFPG and its members can help your franchise visit: http://www.ifpg.org or call (888) 977-IFPG.