Celebrating success is something we British are often very blasé about. In franchising, however, this can be a key indicator to prospective franchise owners about your credentials. Sally Anne Butters, Head of Media at Coconut Creatives, explains how best to promote your achievements.
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Sally Anne Butters, Director of Media at Coconut Creatives, points out important content franchise prospectuses should contain.
You know you want a holiday in Portugal in a private villa so you go online, narrow your search down to three places – your dates are available and they have some good reviews – so you ask them to send you brochures. They arrive and are full of wonderful photos of the villa and surrounding area, so you decide on the mid-range priced one.
Three months later you arrive to find that there are roadworks going on just outside your villa waking you up at 7am every day. You always had that niggling feeling in the back of your mind that this might happen.
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You know how some franchises just seem to be everywhere? Ever wondered how they do it? Follow an integrated marketing approach and you’ll be one of them.
A perfect pitch is a psychologically proven method of engaging with someone to help them understand quickly and simply, what you do, how you do it, why you are good at it and why it is relevant to them.
In short this process goes through four fundamental stages of:
Across the business world outside the franchise industry, it is common for a company to have a perfect 90-second style pitch that they use at networking events or to train the sales team. They understand the value of having it, the power it provides in consistency of approach and how it helps engage their target audience.
This is such a powerful tool in franchising, once you understand how important it is and what impact it can have on your business, then you will realise why spending time developing your perfect pitch is paramount.
By utilising a perfect pitch approach, you can train your staff on the phone, email, on your website and at events to engage more effectively with prospects. As so many franchisors and franchise owners attend exhibitions (and we have the spring exhibitions approaching fast) we are also sharing some thoughts on improving your event success.
Getting to the exhibition with an innovative stand design, appropriate merchandise and plenty of enthusiasm is a great start but there are a few more tricks to a successful show. We always prefer to have at least two people working on a stand, or more depending on stand size. Brief your stand team on what you want them to do and how you want them to record the number and details of visitors to the stand, remembering to cover any data protection issues. We like to set our clients’ stand teams individual goals. For example, if you want 100 leads over a two-day show and you have five people working on the stand that is 50 leads a day, 10 leads per person. Five before lunch and five after lunch each, per day. Breaking it down like this makes it less daunting for the team.
An exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for you to showcase any videos, testimonials, events, discovery days, case studies and product demos on a screen. Visitors naturally stop and watch and this gives your team a chance to approach them.
Some of our most successful clients adopt a system for attracting visitors onto the stand in a non-threatening way. A great way to do this is through the use of speaking slots. By scheduling a few speaking slots on your stand, you attract prospects to you.
Speaking at the show
Most exhibitions offer breakout rooms for seminar sessions. At the point of booking your stand, it is vital to get one of these slots. They massively affect the success of your presence at the show.
Don’t forget the press
Leave your media pack in the press room for any interested journalists to pick up to find out more information about your franchise. Always ensure that you include your perfect pitch in your press pack too.
After the show
Details of interested prospects that have actively opted in to receive further details on your franchise should be followed up fast! An eye-catching branded email and personal phone call works best.
Many franchisors jump in allocating their franchise recruitment marketing budget without taking the time to really understand their ideal franchisee profile. Whether you have a brand new franchise opportunity or you have a 100-strong network, taking time out of your everyday workload to research and compile an accurate profile of what your perfect franchisees are like and how they behave during the franchise purchase journey is absolutely invaluable.
Build at least 3 perfect franchisee profiles for your franchise brand
There is never one simple perfect franchisee profile for any franchise brand so whilst a franchisor might think they know what they are looking for in a franchisee, these are likely to be general ideas rather than built on strong research and proof.
If you already have franchisees, select your top 10 performing franchisees and undertake some research to find out more about them; their skills, expectations, background, personal interests, media consumption and their journeys to purchasing your franchise.
If you don’t have any franchisees yet or if you think you don’t have enough to obtain an educated set of results, you can also extend your research to some of your hottest prospects who have been through a substantial amount of your recruitment process.
You will then be able to create at least 3 profiles of what your perfect franchisees look like.
What to do when you know who you are looking for
These profiles are not set in stone and some elements from profile 3 could be found with attributes from profile 2 (and so on) but getting them down on paper will give your franchise recruitment marketing strategy a focus. They can help to navigate around where to advertise and with what messages to make your franchise most attractive to people you already know could have great success in partnership with you.
If you uncover some similar traits then act on them within your recruitment process. Here are just a couple of examples:
Tailor your Discovery Days – if you have lots of franchisees who play golf then host a Discover Day at a golf club in a region where you wish to recruit;
Integrate case studies – prepare a bank of case studies of current franchisees so you have at least one that each of your perfect franchisee prospects can relate to.
Play to your strengths
There will also be some attributes that you know your franchisees must have to just get their franchise off the ground, some key elements that can’t be learnt and may not be found during a 1-1 meeting. Rosemary Bookkeeping is one business where franchisees must be good at networking to start building their client base; they must have the confidence to stand up and introduce themselves at a networking meeting or Chamber of Commerce breakfast club. Rosemary take the opportunity at their Discovery Days to run a mock networking exercise where they can see if the attendees have the basic skills and confidence that will stand them in good stead for business development. Think of what similar qualifying tests you could devise to help you identify if a prospect is perfect for you!
Many people may think that they are your perfect prospects and, for some mature brands such as O2 and McDonald’s, it may be a case of ruling out prospects, rather than qualifying them in, at the beginning of the recruitment process. They may request that prospects provide an evidence-based report on their suitability to be a franchisee and they can rule out those who cannot complete this task.
It’s up to you
The time you take in getting the basics right will pay dividends. Taking a couple of days to assess your perfect franchisee profiles every six months will end up saving you and your franchise recruitment team several hours each week in dealing with unsuitable candidates and give you reliable information on where to target your recruitment budget and with what primary messages.