Franchise Sales - It's a Business Deal
By Michael J. Childs
Are you struggling to sell franchises? Thinking about franchising your business and want to learn what it takes to sell franchises?
I suggest that you start the first conversation with a new candidate by letting them know that this call may be different than what they were expecting with a salesperson.
Instead of launching into a one-size-fits-all webinar or sales pitch, let them know you would like to spend time getting to know them.
Questions about their personal and financial goals are a great place to start. Many times it only takes a few questions to get them talking and learn a lot about your prospect. Most drop their "here goes another sales pitch without listening to me" guard down and open up.
In a short time, you should have a good handle on your candidate’s goals, issues, challenges, and concerns, and if it is possible for them to reach their idea of success with your business model.
If yes, you can then present a business solution they will listen to because it is now all about what is important to them. The more your buyer sees the likelihood of their personal and financial goals being met with the franchise you are offering, the more likely they will buy.
With this approach, there isn’t any selling at all. It should just be a friendly exchange of information. Using this method will set you apart from the crowd and help you quickly zero in on whether your buyer is a fit for the franchise before spending a lot of time.
Not only is this technique more relaxed and enjoyable for everyone involved, but it also works. When you do close deals, and you will, you will have recruited high quality, long-term business partners.
It’s a Marathon, Not a 5K
Competitive marathon runners pace themselves to reach peak performance as close to race day as possible. They know that if they peak too soon, they will burn out and either miss the race or blow up during it.
The same thing goes for franchise sales.
It’s vital for you to set the pace so that your buyer doesn’t burn out in the sales process, which when done right should take about 60 – 120 days.
If they are hot, hot, hot ready to go after the first telephone conversation, actually anywhere in the process up until a week or so before Discovery or Meet the Team Day, your job is to slow them down.
I know you want to close deals. I do too.
But if you get caught up in the excitement and encourage them to peak too soon thinking you already have a deal, they will almost always fade away from exhaustion, and you’ll be left wondering what happened to the hottest prospect you ever had.
Close But No Cigar
A lot of sales staff I talk to think they are losing the deal at the close, and that all they need is a better closing technique. But a killer closing technique won’t persuade someone to buy an investment that isn’t attractive to them.
What caused the deal to fall through happened during the sales process, not at the close. The close gets the blame only because that’s where you usually get the final answer. If you are losing deals at the close, you'll need to go back and tweak your sales process.
Bad News First is Good News
That’s probably not exactly true, but it’s pretty close. There have been studies about the order in which people prefer to deliver and receive bad news.
It turns out the majority want to deliver good news first, but when we’re on the receiving end, we want the bad news first.
If there are any problems or potential deal killers in the franchise you are offering, get them on the table as early as possible. No matter what, make sure to point them out before your buyer receives the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and starts calling existing franchisees, so there aren’t any surprises.
If “bad news” kills the deal early on, it would have killed the sale later anyway, especially if your buyer finds the bad news out on their own without you telling them first.
Remember, all franchise offerings have problems and potential deal killers lurking somewhere, so it’s not as big a deal as you think. What is a big deal is building trust with your prospect by being authentic and upfront in all of your business dealings.