Are You Prepared for your Franchise Meet the Team Day? Here’s What you Need to Know.
Franchise professionals have creatively crafted phrases to describe the critical final stage of the pre-sale journey. Some call it Meet the Team Day, Discovery Day, Confirmation Day, or even Show and Tell. Some particularly aggressive franchise salespeople call it Go or No-Go Day, which seemingly refers to the idea that the franchise buyer will be signing a franchise agreement at some point before the end of the day. For our purposes, let’s refer to it as Meet the Team Day.
Whatever you call it, making the most of your Franchise Meet the Team Day can have a profound impact on your future success. Whether you’re a prospective franchisee considering a franchise business investment or a franchisor hosting a group of potential franchisees, you will want the Meet the Team Day to go well.
Virtual, Hybrid and In-Person Meet the Team Day Events
Meet the Team Day events come in all shapes and sizes. Through the pandemic, most franchise companies opted to hold online meetups or a hybrid of small in-person and virtual venues. Debate continues over the pros and cons of each event format, but its purpose is unquestionable. It’s all about cultivating the relationship between the franchisor, who is invested in bringing on a franchise partner, and the franchise candidate, who is about to make a potentially life-changing decision.
When the event is hosted at the corporate headquarters and/or a franchise location in person, it’s often a two-day experience. The potential franchisee arrives the day before the event, and the team meets up in a casual setting. This first day is when the franchise candidates experience the brand firsthand, depending on the business concept. In boutique fitness, for example, this might mean taking an exercise class. With restaurant concepts, it could be sampling the menu. Home service franchisors might take a candidate for a drive in a service vehicle.
The juice of the meeting happens the next day when the key players come together more formally. If you’re a franchisor, this is when you want to shine. This should feel much like the final interview for that dream job for the franchise candidate. So, for all involved, here’s your chance to…
- Substantiate what you’ve learned to date
- Make sure it’s a good overall fit
- Confirm the culture fit
- Ramp up on the right foot
Franchise Meet the Team Day Essentials
Clear the Floor for Discussion
Don’t be afraid to open up. The flow of questions, answers, and information shared between the visiting franchise prospects and the franchisor leadership team is pure gold. Don’t be tempted to squelch it with too much structure. Instead, let the participants learn from each other through relationships. Trust that the discovery process has been delivered and let the conversation flow with trust and transparency. You’ll be glad you did when you’re all together again at your annual convention sharing in your wins!
Be Informative, Not Repetitive
You’ve likely spent weeks, months (even years) determining if you’d like to form a franchise partnership. A Franchise Meet the Team Day is not the time for the surface-level questions. Instead, it’s a time to dig deep. Think carefully about what you might want to learn or uncover that was not included in an email, slide deck, or the FDD.
Complete the Pre-Sale Process Well in Advance of the Meet the Team Day Event
Few things are more frustrating in franchising than the failure to check all the regulatory requirement boxes. The most common is securing the receipt for the Franchise Disclosure Document 14 days prior to the signing.
Have the Hard Conversations Beforehand your Franchise Meet the Team Day
Franchises are an investment of time and money. Before booking plane tickets to meet the franchise support team, make sure the financials are in order. Waiting to discuss the money piece is akin to being a day late and a dollar short. With the plethora of funding options and talented franchise-focused funding organizations standing ready to help, there’s no reason the financial parts can’t be worked out well in advance. So, leave the cost, fees, and net worth at the door and walk in to meet the team like a boss!
Be Prepared to Pivot Logistically
Things happen. Family emergencies, flight delays, illnesses, or even cold feet. Be ready to alter the plan or even reschedule. Franchising is an investment worthy of full discovery, so if it goes off the rails for an unforeseeable reason, be ready with Plan B.
A Franchise Meet the Team Day Event can (and should) be one of the most exciting times in the life of a franchise relationship. With these tips and the right team in place, you’ll reap the rewards of a successful franchise adventure. Who doesn’t want a day to discover that?