Your mission objective: prospect qualification, rapport generation, and process establishment
Some franchisors meet their failure because they start the franchise unit they have with one wrong perspective: it needs only business capital to develop the franchise. Well, we cannot ignore the importance of capital value in the franchise, as well as other businesses, but the real development requires not only money or other physical resources you have within your company, but also other resources from external sources. Most franchise experts would recommend you to think about your clients and customers. They play the same role which importance has little difference with your internal assets. This time, we will start with your client. This selection has no mean to disregard the important role of your customers. Of course, they hold the same critical position as your client, but there are distinct stages of a business when your client holds the most important role after the builder himself/herself, especially in business funding.
There are various strategies franchisors choose to develop a good relationship with their client, but business meeting becomes the most common, yet effective strategy in developing the business. Some franchisors would simply describe a business arrangement with their client as a date. At this particular occasion, both companies and client speak about everything about the business, but that is not the point behind its importance. A business meeting becomes crucial because strategic decisions it bear. A business arrangement determines the future of business. Unlike typical conversation we have with our friends, we should never expect a simple, yet single thing happens inside a business meeting.
Before you can establish a well business meeting, you should start it with offering your franchise product to raise both awareness and interest of your client over the product. Only after your client has become interested with the product, you can ask him/her for an appointment. Now, the interview begins with your client’s response over your franchise product. Please note that your client may talk about positive sides of your product, but also its negative sides. So, make sure you have prepared everything to hear about anything. Now, after both of you have passed this stage, your client will continue to perform a thorough review over your website and initial franchise package. Once he/she has satisfied with both the items, RFC submission will become the next stage. The report itself will contain some basic information, including work history, personal information, financial statement, and other relevant information.
As you can see, within only 45 minutes as the typical length of a business conversation, both your respondents and you can discuss everything about the business more openly than just ‘conversation’ through business letters. Through the same discussion, you will also find out that more than 50% of want-to-be franchisor; do not know how they can buy a franchise business when they cannot build it by their own. That is the reason the first action you should put under your action credit is a simple assumption about the disastrous nature of the leadership role. Do not make a quick assumption that we are talking about absolute prohibition of leadership in the franchise business. We are talking about its negative side which takes a form in aggressive buyers who delightfully purchase franchise units without further consideration. This situation has become a ‘culture’ in the franchise which everyone, especially new franchisors, can recognize after ‘completely-free’ conversations with prospective clients who have no future business plan.
As a franchisor, you hold full control over the Franchise Program Review as well as laying suitable framework onto it. This action includes RFC review, as well as its goals, creation of fundamental questions, expectations, and program analysis. Only when your clients show their interest after completing this step, you can continue to an investigation process sharing for your business unit.
Now, begin with reviewing your clients’ RFC. Pay close attention to the document. It is because any illegibility, sloppy, or incompletion is a clear evidence of their disinterest in your project. It is your system. So, everyone who may have interest on it should follow your system. Otherwise, they should consider another alternative. It means that if you are not sure about their motivation, you should ask them to take the document and complete it or maybe leave it if they are not sure about their intention. Well, even though it is an effective strategy in eliminating people whose motivation you should question, it still leaves many candidates at your list. That is the reason most franchise experts encourage franchisors to ask at least three additional questions. They are simple questions that will help you in digging and clarifying any motivation your candidates have. The following questions will give a clear view about my point.
- “I can see that you previously worked for a company. May I know your opinion about how it works, please?”
- “What do you think about your self-achievement in a highly-competitive industry, especially when you were an employee?”
- “Is there any side activities or hobbies you like? Do you gain some motivation through that? Can you please tell me about that?”
Once you have collected all the best candidates, you can now proceed to depiction of your ideal franchisee. Describe which skills and attribution you need the most for your business unit. Try to get to the smallest detail in order to help your candidates in understanding your actual needs.
Now, attract the best candidate from the list by allowing them to ask about your business program, but remember to tell them that any question regarding FDD or similar document will gain no answer from you.
Now, ask your candidates to give you some open-ended questions. Questions may vary from each candidate to another, but make sure that each question they give to you will ‘reveal’ real motivation they have in joining your system.
When you have reached this stage, you should have already had some prospects at your list. Now, it is time for them to prove their real capability in becoming the member of your system. An assignment to each prospect will fit for this purpose, but make sure that all of them require active participation in order to accomplish the project. Unlike previous tests you give to them, this test thoroughly assesses their skills, experiences, knowledge, and motivation before they can work for you.
All these tests are necessary if you want to move to the next stage. It is the perfect time for your franchise prospects pre-closing. For this purpose, you can use leadership to set your franchise expectations as well as take system control. This process is also useful for the ground rules establishment of your system that will finally allow you to recognize the best candidate as well building both confidence and credibility. At last, optimum sales level will come to you like the final result.
- Your role: “I stand before you here, at this specific moment because I want to show you about how our franchise works and how we can optimize this golden opportunity through a highly skilled work of a team. That is the reason I want to see whether we can fit each other or not. My role is not about selling you to another company. I speak the truth when I say that I am your facilitator who will lead you to the investigation process. You will face our executive review committee members who will decide whether you are worth for your franchise offer or not.”
The above statement clearly shows your character to the prospects that are mandatory. So, both sides can work and believe each other.
- The review committee: “The next stage you should pass before you can enter our system is Discovery Day. This is a day you should attend when you will also meet review committee of our company. Members of this board will alter discover people who are worth for our trust.” By telling this recruitment information, you have given an example of a transparent business which builds trust among its employer and employees through high quality recruitment process.
- Open communication: “During the recruitment process in our franchise business, please let us know if any concern, problem, or even if you want to resign from this system. We will gladly assist you for the cause. In this system, we put trust and honesty as a crucial point of our business. We speak the truth to each other. That is how we can save our time. Do you understand?” By addressing this statement to your prospects, you state the rules of a successful business. If these prospective candidates want to be a part of your franchise system, they should have dedication in developing the system that bad prospects do not have.
- Making decision through time-frame control: “We are working in a rapid pace. We require only someone with the same capability. Can you provide proof to us that you are the one we are looking? ”Most candidates will agree on the importance of quick and efficient performance in business, but only few of them who can provide evidence that they have the capabilities in working under strict and fast system. This condition allows you to narrow down the prospects. To make the list even smaller than before, ask another question. “Okay. Now, after reviewing your proof, we want you to join our conference call which schedule we will give later. Both of us will get the benefit of this conference call. So, make your decision now.” As a matter of fact, only serious candidates who understand the importance of time-framed decision making. This nature of them will lead them to honor the timetable you have previously set. Disqualify anyone who performs the contrary.
- Program review process description: This scene is unique because instead of giving your opinion to your prospects, you should ask their opinion about everything they have passed until a present time, especially the tests. Each person from the prospect list you have will come with a different idea that will help you in assessing their true ‘identity.’