Flawed Strategic Thinking That Drives Serious Franchise Leads to Disqualify You

By Paul Keiser
I Show Franchise Business Developers and Brokers How to Automatically Find Serious Leads

The leading reason we’ve found causing serious leads to disqualify brands and brokers from consideration is a lack of strategic thought, time and attention given to 21st Century aspects of franchise business development. As an industry, franchise business development methods are mired in tactics over 25-years old. It takes serious reflection and change to adapt to emerging 21st Century franchise buyer behavior and their very different expectations.

Here are five inter-related company cultural and strategic issues that, if ignored, cause serious leads to disqualify you from consideration.

Recognize Franchise Business Development is a Business within a Business
As they begin to scale, franchisors and brokers often struggle with business development. That’s because the knowledge and experience to do it well aren’t part of the operations or customer excellence skill sets of many owners and investors.

Franchise business development is actually a business within the larger franchise business with different needs. Recognizing this, and then properly staffing, funding and executing around a set of realistic goals can put you on a sustainable pathway to success.

Unfortunately, too many try to fix a faltering franchise business development program with band-aids; neglecting the thought needed to find the root causes of problems, not just surface symptoms.

Why…because it’s easy. Tactical solutions make everyone feel good. In fact, re-imagining a 21st Century version of franchise business development requires digging deeper.

To meet the challenge, three strategic areas critical to franchise business development must harmonize:

Finding and Nurturing Serious Leads
Intelligent Pipeline Management
Think of each of these areas as a leg of a stool. If the legs aren’t aligned, then the stool teeters and totters making it useless.

Do nothing and watch as serious leads disqualify you.

Inertia Kills Brands and Brokers
Many brands and brokers become paralyzed by the breadth and depth of change needed to adapt to the changing macro environment of franchise business development. The smaller the brand or broker the more daunting the challenges.

Smaller brands and brokers aren’t often blessed with tens of thousands of dollars laying around to “experiment” or try something new; so, fear stifles decision-making.

But time kills deals. Time also kills brands and brokers unwilling to adapt. It’s time to step up and either hire or develop the skills to upgrade franchise business development methodologies. The market isn’t waiting. Brands and brokers that grab an early mover advantage will prosper; while laggards will fall by the wayside.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you

Lack of Expertise
The skill sets needed to address both franchise business development technology and people’s evolving behavior doesn’t necessarily reside in most franchisors and brokers, who are often solo practitioners. Many franchisors have consumer marketing pros or agencies supporting franchisees. However, these same highly-talented people are inexperienced in the “black arts” of franchise business development and the psychological journey a serious lead embarks on in the Internet Age. You hired them to drive traffic into your stores and restaurants; not recruit franchisees. And likely they do a very good job for you.

Giving franchise business development insufficient support or forcing business developers to work with meager lead generation budgets or whatever software is around or cheap is commonplace. That’s a lazy approach and speaks to a lack of understanding of how to successfully grow a franchise business development powerhouse.

Ownership and leadership need to step up and either acquire or outsource the knowledge needed to reliably scale the business.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

The Internet Upends Traditional Notions of Franchisee Recruitment
Every generation from 1995 forward has been reshaped by the Internet. Consumers complete almost 75% of brand research for high-end goods and services on the web before making a call or a visit. They expect transparency. Your storytelling needs to meet a higher standard of excellence or these serious leads will just move on. So, ask yourself, do you tease or hide information or do you educate on your franchise business development website?

Text messaging has rapidly changed the franchise business development communication landscape. Today’s serious leads comfortably text back and forth with your business developer before engaging. What does that do to old-fashioned “dialing for dollars” models? Which leads are more engaged and serious?

Your franchise website is now expected to tell your whole story. It’s not just a brochure anymore or a landing page to get a form filled out. You’re forced to dig deeper to articulate your competitive differentiation. A test: if you can put your name on a competitor’s website, then something’s wrong with your story.

All brands are coming to grips with ever rising lead generation costs. Can we harness the vast potential of social media and online advertising to create affordable serious leads prospect? Can these newer channels become a game changer or are they just one more money drain? How do these leads convert into your pipeline compared to other channels?

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

Leads Now Have the Power

Leads now control the research process. In fact, 75% of their research is already done before first contact. Serious leads expect complete and transparent information about brands. So, a solid story and a dedicated franchise business development online presence are now table stakes with serious leads. These serious leads engage when they’re ready; not before. So encourage them to do that by delivering a brand education experience that gets them emotionally and rationally invested in your franchise opportunity.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

Franchise Pipeline Solutions (FPS) helps new and emerging franchise brands find their most serious leads using an integrated pipeline management system. It combines enterprise-class CRM with multi-channel Marketing Automation, 1:1 and bulk text messaging, behavioral scoring and auto call scheduling. Our proven approach has been in worldwide use for over eight years.


About the Author:
Paul Keiser has over 40 years of experience franchise development, social media and online lead generation, email nurture, marketing automation and brand storytelling. Today he makes his living giving precious time back to franchise brand business developers and franchise brokers by helping them find serious leads so they focus on more of the right people and do more deals.

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