Franchise Development Deal Killer – Part 1

franchise development surpriseAnother lesser known ‘deal killer’ is the surprise. It happens all the time. The prospect is moving through your process nicely, likes you, likes your company and model, and giving you good vibes and ‘buying signals.’  And suddenly it happens. It could be something big, it could be something small. But it was unexpected. It seemed negative; at least that’s what they think. You have all kinds of logical explanations for it. But guess what – it isn’t about logic. Their emotions have been triggered and it’s going to be tough to get them back on track.

The best approach to beating or avoiding the surprise is to prepare for and position for it. Do so early when you can and/or each time you’re entering territory that might cause the surprise. Let me give you some common examples in franchise development

One big one is validation calls with your franchisees. I don’t care what franchise you work for or how good you think your franchise is, they are going to hear some negatives whether it be from current operating units or from someone who’s left the system. As obvious as it may seem to you, it won’t be so obvious to them. They like what they see. They believe what you’ve been telling them. Its all good to them. They are on a high about this business. So why wouldn’t they hear absolutely glowing feedback from everyone they call?

Another variation I’ve seen of this problem is their expectation about the speed of which franchisees get back to them and the percentage that do. I think the franchise I’m involved with his pretty professional. I think that we have a lot of great people in the franchise. But you know what? These people are running a business! They’re busy. Their schedules might not align with that of the candidate’s and when the candidate proposes a call be scheduled. They may miss the email. And yes, emails and phones don’t always work 100% so a franchisee can actually never get the candidate’s request to talk.

But guess what? Your candidate won’t see it that way! Especially the 70 – 80% that are probably coming out of some big company corporate structure. I had a guy going through due diligence once where because all of the franchisees didn’t get back to him within 24 hours he felt the organization wasn’t professional and not one he’d want to be a part of. Really? Are you kidding me? These people don’t know you from a hole in the ground, they have their own families and clients to take care of, they’re actually doing you a favor by talking with you and taking time for you out of their busy schedule, and you think they should drop everything and call you back or respond to your email? (I actually had a little fun with this one knowing that the deal was done. But maybe that’s for another blog!) Positioning this properly as you send them to validation calls will solve any potential problems.

In my next post, we’ll continue with Franchise Development Deal Killer – Part 2, where I’ll give you a great example to learn from!

– Don