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Grow Your Franchise Network by Changing Sides

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Franchisors are constantly seeking new and better ways to grow their franchise network, which can range from improving the franchise program to generating more franchise leads. There is another approach that ought to be tried.

Apart from an occasional cockeyed optimist, I havenít met many people in the franchise industry that believe growing a franchise system is an easy task. This is especially true for newly launched franchise companies. A typical approach is to identify the best features of a particular franchise opportunity and proceed to develop an effective way to present those features. The process involves having attention grabbing headlines on the website and in franchise promotional literature to generate leads. This step is usually followed by having savvy franchise sales people or brokers deliver the message in greater detail. Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with this approach, in fact itís worked for years and will continue to work. This technique represents the basics of selling. However, there are ways to enhance the sale of new franchises by participating in the sales process from the position of a prospective franchisee.

Itís easy for a franchisor to slip into a position where they construct and deliver a franchise presentation from their perspective. In some cases, this could mean dismissing legitimate objections from a franchise candidate by attributing the objections to the candidate rather than deficiencies the franchise program.

In order to gain a different view of the franchise and how it can be perceived by a franchise candidate, I would suggest the following:

  1. Engage a franchisee attorney to review the Franchise Disclosure Document. Yes, a franchisee attorney! This could be a productive way to learn how the franchise offering is viewed by someone who represents franchisees.
  2. Conduct a critical self analysis when it comes to comments and questions by prospective franchisees. Consider each comment or question as a potential problem that could arise during a franchise sales process or later when the franchise is purchased.
  3. Engage in some in-house role playing, by having a member of the franchise operations team play the part of a franchise candidate. Encourage them to be critical and pointed as they work their way through a fictional franchise sales process.
  4. Put franchisor ego aside and listen with an open mind to the possibility of making changes where theyíre needed. ian at ianmount dot com
  5. Finally, donít rely on sales techniques and personality to overcome buyer objections. A franchise sale is the start of a relationship, not an end in itself. When legitimate concerns brought up by a franchise candidate are overcome by slick sales techniques future problems may arise.

A franchisor can improve their program and enhance the sale of new franchises by putting themselves in the position of a prospective franchisee. Itís one way to obtain an unbiased evaluation of their franchise opportunity and lower the risk of franchisee failures.

© 2011 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

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