Franchisor’s Wake-Up! It’s time to rethink your lead generation
Brandon Clifford, Sr. Franchise Consultant, Global Franchise Solutions
Imagine yourself out for dinner. You are at a nice steakhouse, and you are looking over the menu. You finally decide that you’ll go with the 10 oz Filet. Filet Mignon has always been your favorite cut, and you are visiting this steakhouse upon the recommendation of a trusted friend. You even checked out some reviews of this restaurant and saw that many others raved about the filet, which prompted you to go here in the first place.
Then your server walks over to the table. She is carrying a tray of six 10 oz filets. “Before you decide to purchase that Filet Mignon,” she says, “I have brought you samples of six Filet Mignons from other steakhouses in the area that I thought you might like to try.”
“Great, thank you!” You reply, and you begin to dig into the 60 ounces of steak that is now sitting on your table. By the time you finish sampling each filet, the thought of ordering the one you came out to try, the one that your trusted friend recommended for you, the one that you read raving reviews about online, is a distant memory. You end up just having a few drinks, and ordering a salad and deciding that you’ll come back and check out that Filet Mignon on a different night.
An individual comes home from work on a Friday evening and decides that she has finally had enough of the corporate grind that she has been at for 15 years. She has reached the limited ceiling at her company, won every award possible, and been a top performer for many years. She is good at her job but is tired of making money for someone else. This individual has decided that it is time to invest in herself and use her talents to build real wealth and start a business.
One of her former co-worker’s, who was actually in her current role before he left the company, went out and bought a franchise a few years ago. She has kept in touch with him, and he is doing quite well. Of course, he had the typical struggles that new business owners often have, but he is enjoying the autonomy of his current career and loves being his own boss. She decides that maybe it’s her time to take that leap.
After googling “best franchise to buy” and seeing over 35,000,000 links, she is already feeling a bit overwhelmed. She decides to visit a website that offers a collection of the best franchises on the market and sees a link to request info about the very same franchise that her friend had purchased a few years ago. Her natural inclination is to click on this link, and then a popup appears, offering her to learn about 6 other, similar concepts, to the one she has chosen. Just like you at the steakhouse, she thinks “Great, thank you! I should definitely shop around and leave no stone unturned.” Within a few days, after being inundated with calls from franchise sales professionals, and her inbox is flooded with brochures and opportunity guides, she decides to put the franchise investigation on the back burner for a while, and just head back to work on Monday.
Now don’t get me wrong, making a franchise investment decision is not easy. And one should 100% do their due diligence by comparing and contrasting brands to be sure they are finding the right fit. This is exactly what I help people do as a franchise consultant. But if the candidate has a similar profile to one of your top performing franchisees, if he or she possesses the necessary capital required to be financially qualified for your opportunity, and they have the skillset and gusto to be a business owner; why would you invite them to shop around?
If you are utilizing web-portals and buying booths at large expos as your main source for finding franchise candidates, this is exactly what you are doing.
The world has been changing for quite some time. People are making buying decisions across a wide spectrum of mediums, and everyone has their own chosen platform that speaks to them. The traditional ways you have been using to reach your prospective buyers are dying. No one wants to be “sold” into a franchise system, and it doesn’t matter how good your sales team is, or how smooth your discovery process flows, if you are not connecting with your ideal franchisee on their chosen platform of communication, you are missing the opportunity to grow your franchise system. Here are 5 ways that your franchise brand should be marketing,
- You must have a presence on LinkedIn –LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional site. It has over 500 million users worldwide with 2 new members joining per second. People who are on LinkedIn are also actively seeking opportunities. If your sales team is not searching for your ideal candidates and connecting with them on LinkedIn, you are missing the boat.
- Targeted lead gen campaigns on Facebook and Instagram– Social media is king. It is where we get our news, how we stay connected, how we socialize, and where new trends emerge. With people spending so much time on their mobile devices why not reach out to them right in their newsfeed? This is not about gaining likes, views, and shares, but actually engaging with your ideal franchisee and then reaching out to them to start a conversation.
- YouTube Testimonials –In my opinion, the best measuring stick of a healthy franchise system is the happiness of its franchisees! If franchisees are making money and being supported, they will be eager to share their experience with prospective franchise buyers. Have your best, top performing franchisees make a 30-45 second video testimonial sharing their experiences.
- Webinars –With the age of the 24 hr news cycle and information overload that we are in, people are craving content on demand. What better way to appease that appetite than to create a webinar those prospective investors can choose to watch live, or download and view on their own terms?
- Workshops –Franchising is no longer the distributorship model that it once was! It is the new form of entrepreneurship, and new franchisees want to invest in a brand that they can connect with both personally and professionally. Taking your show on the road and hosting an informative workshop in the strategic markets that you are looking to grow in, is a fantastic way to engage with buyers on their home turf.
Our franchise consultants work closely with franchise candidates on a daily basis. We focus on finding the right fit for our candidates through a deep understanding of their personalities, their skill set, and their financial qualifications. We are heavily networked in our local community, as well as on social media, and we would love to help your brand build its network too. Let’s work together, inspire entrepreneurship, and build into our local communities by growing your franchise system.
Let us help your brand be visible to your ideal franchisee and connect with them on their chosen platform. Reach out to get started today!