FSBO - For Sale by Owner
Are you the Owner, Founder, and Sales Department for your franchise opportunity? Thinking about franchising your business and planning on handling sales yourself?
Then this article is for you.
It is common for homeowners to try and sell their home to save on the Realtor’s commission. But it’s just as common to see the FSBO sign in the yard replaced by a Realtor’s sign.
The homeowner wasn’t able to sell it.
Unless you’ve done it before, successfully marketing and selling your home can be nearly impossible to do. And the longer it sits on the market, the harder it is to sell.
Successfully marketing and selling your own franchise opportunity is somewhat similar to trying to sell your own home - except selling franchises is a lot harder.
A home can be taken off the market and then re-listed as a “new listing” dozens of times, changing the price until it finally sells. But with franchise sales, you don’t have the luxury of time or price flexibility.
At some point without sales, selling franchises go from nearly impossible to impossible.
Franchise opportunities that don’t sell go stale fast.
"Without promotion, something terrible happens... nothing!" ~ P. T. Barnum
Self-promotion is precisely what you have to do if you are selling your own franchise opportunity. The trouble is, unless you have the P. T. Barnum gift of gab, it is hard to pull off without it coming off as bragging.
Enter third party compliments.
A third party compliment is when you pass along good news or praise heard from another source, and the best compliment you’ll ever receive. Third party compliments are the closest example there is when trying to understand the psychology of buyers.
You can tell franchise buyers directly that you are an honest person with an exceptional franchise opportunity and world-class support. And it can be entirely true, but it’s going to at least be taken with skepticism.
Or worse, as just plain bragging.
But if I tell them how impressed I am with your honesty, exceptional franchise opportunity, and world-class support, it has the power of a third party compliment.
They are more likely to believe it, even embrace it.
It is true I may be working for you, but my compliments aren’t considered bragging because I’m just the messenger.
It’s OK to brag about others; just not yourself.
To be successful selling franchises, you as the owner and founder should be the last, or one of the last, people your prospect talks to during the sales process. Not the first
It’s Your Baby
When first starting out, feedback equals success. But most people won’t say anything bad about your baby in front of you.
Sort of like third part compliments in reverse, they would much rather tell someone else who will pass the bad news on. But if there is nobody else; only you, chances are you’ll never hear the things you need to hear to fix what is broken.
And franchise buyers are notorious for not telling sales staff the real reason they lost interest, much less the owner and founder.
If you are on your own, trying to figure out why buyers stop returning your calls or make up lame excuses not to buy can drive you to near insanity; if you ever do figure it out.
Your learning curve will be very slow when again, you don’t have the luxury of time.
Bet You Can’t Sell Just One
I doubt you will read this anywhere else, but if you start selling franchises, you absolutely must keep selling franchises.
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you are struggling to sell, it is much better not to sell any in the first place.
If you sell a few and then stall, you’re stuck.
Lowering the franchise or royalty fees, or offering other concessions like larger territories, two for one deals, etc. to attract buyers dilutes the value of existing franchises - and screams desperation.
Your existing franchisees will feel betrayed and question their investment.
That’s when they typically stop paying royalty or just quit altogether. If they do hang on, they will be lousy validators.
“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” ~ Yogi Berra
Stalled franchise offerings can be successfully re-started; we know how to do it. But it does up the degree of difficulty.
It is much easier i.e. costs less - to fix, tweak or even completely redevelop a franchise offering before you sell any franchises.
Here’s something else you probably won’t hear anywhere else. Selling franchises is hard even when you know what you are doing. If you don’t, you don’t stand much of a chance.
Stalled or just starting out, you really need a proven step-by-step sales process and well thought out franchise offering in place - created by someone with a track record of startup franchise development and franchise sales - before you throw money away promoting your franchise for sale.
That’s the only way to know where you are going - and not end up someplace else. Someplace you really don't want to be.
To learn more about a startup and sales friendly Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), be sure to read “The FDD - One Size Never Fits All.”
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If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with your franchise program, or just have a question looking for a straight answer, give me a call at 321.392.3000 Ext 1, or use the Contact Form to set up a call.