Savvy Franchisors Can make Headway in Lead Generation During July and August
Summer for many franchisors used to mean taking a vacation from franchise sales. But the pandemic, combined with more people continuing to work from home and our new 24/7 world of accessibility, has rewired conventional wisdom. After being sidelined, downsized, or declared a nonessential worker (how long does it take to get over that slight?), corporate employees are reassessing their careers in search of work that is more aligned with their values and lifestyle needs.
As we continue emerging from unpredictable times, what can be predicted is that when the economy is down, or recovering, strong franchisors with proven systems attract franchisees. Uncertainty or change in the workforce historically translates into workers deciding to strike out on their own, and that’s holding true in these uncharted times as well.
The Franchise Sales Cycle
What this means for savvy franchisors is that you can make headway in your lead generation if you don’t pack it away until fall. And since the franchise sales cycle can last about 12 to 14 weeks, or even longer, once the salesperson’s pipeline is filled, it’s instrumental to continue filling that pipeline. And more good news: Industry experts are predicting the holiday season this year will also be a promising recruitment timeframe. Motivated people want to make up for lost time — not to mention take advantage of an ample supply of “A” locations vacated during the pandemic.
That is not to say, however, that gaining prospects’ attention while the sun is shining won’t be challenging. It involves revisiting your growth goals and budget, as well as impeccable timing so your marketing campaigns don’t hit on or around the Fourth of July or Labor Day when family time takes precedence.
Marketing and Franchisee Recruitment
Third-party endorsements, such as press coverage or customer and franchisee testimonials, help reduce the marketing costs associated with franchisee recruitment, so fire up your internal or external marketing team to maximize the collection of those validations. Ramping up your social media efforts is one way to let prospects know you’re expanding into new territories, but be careful not to be too self-promotional. Social media walks a fine line between advertising and entertainment, and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of social media platforms, so you’ll need to consider which ones best attract your target audience and fit your message.
If you’ve been considering hiring a franchise broker, agency, or another expert to assess your current marketing plan (or lack of one), summer can be the ideal time to get that process going since typically it can be their slower time as well.
One lesson we’re all learning as we move toward that desired normalcy is that no one can rest on their laurels. Even wildly successful franchise marketing generates a large number of leads with typically low closure rates, so staying the course is as important as ever. But what we’ve also learned is that we can work remotely, so no one needs to know you’re making all those follow-up calls from your chair on the beach.