Selling franchises in the year ahead

selling franchises

“Should I go into business by myself?” and five other questions the franchisor and its sales force need to address 

In franchise marketing and sales, we have traditionally talked about the four sales the astute franchise salesperson must make in order to award one franchise. As we see how the pandemic continues to affect behavior, we are now finding ourselves talking about six sales that need to be made in order to award one franchise. 

When speaking with a prospect, the franchisor and its sales force need to address these sales-related questions that are often buried beneath the surface: 

  1. Should I go into business by myself? If you’re talking to a prospect about buying a franchise, they may have already made the decision that owning a business, versus taking a corporate job, is the direction for them. But for many, there may be lingering doubts about their decision and whether it is right for them and their family.  
  2. Should I buy a franchise? While franchising may increase their chances of success, it also comes with some disadvantages: most significantly, brand controls and fees. So providing an understanding of the franchising model and its benefits will help both parties determine whether they have a fit.
  3. Should I invest in this industry? If your buyer is committed to franchising, they still need to understand the selling proposition for your particular industry. Rarely is a franchisor the first one in a given market sector. Evidence of the sustainability and growth of an industry segment will help convince your prospect that the concept has long-term potential.  
  4. Why should I buy this franchise over others in the industry? This is the less obscure question that most new franchisors concentrate on. What is your unique selling proposition and what makes you a better choice for them when comparing the concept to its direct competitors?

….But even more recently, franchise sales professionals are finding that there are additional “sales” to be made:

  • How will this franchise fare in the new economy? Understandably, your franchise prospects are still concerned about COVID-19, the lingering potential for lockdowns, inflation, labor shortages, and potential supply chain issues. At a minimum, you will need to address these concerns and how your business will overcome them going forward. 
  • Is now the right time to buy? After coming through a period of such great uncertainty, it is not surprising that some candidates will be hesitant to sign on the dotted line out of concern that recent troubles could continue or worsen in the future. Of course, none of us has a crystal ball. But if your concept is solid and has a well-thought-through plan for these contingencies, sharing your thought process with the right candidate should put their mind at ease.

The marketing messages in your materials

In addition to your direct outreach and in-person consultations, your lead generation-focused marketing materials should anticipate all of these issues and address any areas of buyer hesitancy. Your messaging should be designed to resonate across multiple channels. The franchisor’s website, as well as its social media presence (both paid and organic), should feature messaging that speaks to those future entrepreneurs who are exiting (or have exited from) the traditional workforce keeping in mind that some members of the Great Resignation generation may not have even considered buying a franchise as an option. 

We are anticipating that today’s incredible surge in franchise sales activity will continue well into the next year and perhaps even longer. In fact, nearly one-third of those leaving the workforce are saying they’d like to own their own business (Digital.com). Those franchise teams who understand the underlying questions that every franchise prospect must wrestle with find themselves well-positioned to address today’s buyers and can expect an exciting 2022. 

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Mark Siebert is the author of Franchise Your Business, The Guide to Employing the Greatest Growth Strategy Ever and The Franchisee Handbook, and a franchise business consultant since 1985. Mr. Siebert founded the iFranchise Group in 1998 as an organization dedicated to developing long-term relationships with successful franchisor clientele. He can be reached at 708-957-2300. Learn more at iFranchise Group.
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