Quality is King When it Comes to Lead Generation for Franchise Sales
If you ask any franchisor if he would rather receive more random leads or fewer quality leads, he will go for the second option every time. Since a franchise brand can only be successful as its franchisees, finding the right people is key. Franchisors want to talk to candidates who already know — and are excited — about their brand, are qualified to run the business, and have the funds to do it. Franchisors are busy, and that’s why they seek help from professional franchise brokers and franchise consultants in recruiting. But where do franchise brokers and consultants find leads?
Corporate Professionals: The Ideal Franchise Lead
Experienced franchise consultants know that corporate professionals in a career transition make great prospective franchise candidates and are ideal leads. “To me, there are many types of franchise buyers, but there is a particular franchise owner who works best with franchise consultants: an executive looking to make a transition out of corporate America. This person has managed people and processes and typically has experience leading teams,” says Dan Claps, co-founder of Career Transition Leads (CTL), a membership-based lead provider and NurtureAssist.com, a lead generation and nurturing agency.
He says that due to their background and management skills, corporate professionals typically have accumulated wealth to invest in a franchise. While he believes that his ideal candidate needs to be in transition, this does not necessarily mean they are actively looking at businesses when they identify as “in transition.”
“Franchise consultants can show this perfect franchise candidate that their skills are transferable and that a franchise can give them all the things they enjoyed in their corporate career,” he says. While franchising is suitable for all kinds of demographics and ages, Claps finds that the ideal franchise candidate is looking to exit corporate life and is 40-60 years old, married, and comes from a sales or management background.
Tips for Nurturing Leads Through Text and Email
In Claps’ view, lead nurturing is as important as lead generation. “What is most important is speed to the lead. As soon as a potential candidate fills out your form, you should be calling them and should have a personalized text going out right away automatically via texting software,” he says. For example, NurtureAssist’s software texts a lead the moment they make an inquiry and can be personalized with their first name, calendar links, and photos.
He believes that people who are inquiring should receive an email right away with information about the brand and follow-up emails. “I also believe your follow-up via email should continue ongoing weekly or monthly for as long as someone is in your funnel. Essentially, until they buy, ask for you to stop reaching out, or unsubscribe, they should be engaged,” he says.
Additionally, franchise consultants should set up their CRM to track when someone is clicking on their links. “Whenever someone is engaging with your links in the emails, automation should be set up to call that lead. They should be considered a warm lead, and you know this based on their behavior. I know it sounds creepy, but it works. It is important to nurture leads and spend the time on the ones who are taking actions with your content,” he says. By setting up systems like this, sales teams can focus on candidates who actually want to talk to them.
Lead Generation for Franchise Sales in 2022
Claps sees the biggest opportunity for franchise development and lead generation for franchise sales as more of the above in the New Year. “More brands should build nurturing systems in their CRM to track link clicks and engagement and be proactive in reaching out to leads who are engaging with content. I also think brands should focus on being more laser-focused on who their ideal candidate is,” he says.
After creating a clear picture of who its ideal franchise buyer is, a brand should think about what “bait,” or messaging, will attract that candidate and market to them accordingly. “If I wanted to target men in their late 40s who like to golf and come from corporate America, then I am going to design my ads with this ideal buyer persona shown in the ad, with messaging that appeals to them, is specific, and then present those ads in areas where they are spending time. This is marketing 101, but I find it takes some discipline to do it perfectly,” he says.
In the Shoes of a Franchise Consultant
In some ways, Claps stumbled into this space when he had an event staffing business in college. He looked into owning a small franchise and fell in love with the process of selling businesses, so he became a business broker and eventually saw a more lucrative opportunity in franchise consulting. After learning about the needs of franchise brokers and franchise consultants, Claps partnered with IFPG founder Don Daszkowski to form CTL and NurtureAssist.com.