You won’t want to miss today’s discussion because I am going to give you five ideas for working with franchisors and brokers more successfully.
During my 15 years as a master franchisee, 24% of my franchise sales came from consultants, recommendations, leads, or registrations from brokers; this is a significant percentage. So I went back and examined why I believed I was so effective in converting or selling those prospects. To help you, whether you’re a franchisor or a broker receiving leads from a broker consultant, I’ve devised five recommendations that I’m going to share with you today.
In order to increase the likelihood of a sale, the first step is to communicate more frequently. You know, this fosters relationships, trust, and confidence. And to be completely honest, it’s very professional. One of the things I often rant about is how unprofessional people can be in this business, whether it be franchisors or broker consultants, in the franchise sales or franchise development arena. So, in my opinion, improving your communication skills shows that you are a professional; it is something that professionals do.
The second piece of advice I have is that if you are a broker, you should inquire with the franchisor as to whether the individuals you are submitting are a suitable fit. Why do you do this, then? One of the main arguments is that it demonstrates your concern and desire to improve. And this is a key differentiation in the relationship between franchisees and brokers when it comes to franchise development. It also prepares you for future prospects you’ll be working with by teaching you how to recommend to the franchisor people who are a better fit. So the second tip is to ask if your candidates are a good fit for their brand or not. Just don’t assume that you’ve passed. You’ve passed a few. Just don’t assume that you’ve been giving them the right candidates.
If you’re the franchisor, step three, or the third one, is to specifically assist the broker, albeit this also applies in reverse. When building relationships or if you already have one since you liked someone or their brand a lot, the broker can go above and beyond by doing something special for the other party. You know, a lot of the sales I generated were from a few locations that were very nearby—they were within driving distance of either my workplace or my offices.
As a result, I would go visit them on purpose about once every three months. And if it were possible, I would arrange for us to have lunch or supper. But taking the time to go see them was kind of my own thing. These drives take between two and three hours. It was a day that I didn’t have available. However, that demonstrated to them my concern for them and my level of commitment to our connection. And that was truly something unique. However, it was also a significant differentiation because people in my industry don’t generally do something similar.
The first piece of advice was to improve communication between the parties. The second piece of advice was to ask whether your applicants are a good fit. The third thing we did was to do something unique for the person with whom you are developing a relationship.
The fourth point I wanted to make today is that brokers provide franchisors with accurate information about candidates. As a master franchisee or an executive for some of the franchisors I’ve worked for, I can’t even begin to describe the wide range of information I have received. It has ranged from disc profiles, or some sort of assessment of the person, to a full multi-page profile plus an email overview.
The other extreme I regrettably encountered much too frequently was when I would receive an email introducing me to Bob and Sally Smith. Bob is an accountant, and Sally is a stay-at-home mother. Good luck! Furthermore, I would receive a paragraph or two in an email, I kid you not. I would occasionally receive a one- or two-page questionnaire or profile sheet from the broker, but other than that, not much.
The fourth piece of advice I’m providing you is to provide accurate information, especially from the broker’s perspective. And if you’re not putting in enough effort to be able to provide them with that much information, I encourage you to work with someone, get coached on this, and attend some training that will enable you to better profile and know your candidate’s information so that you can present a better candidate to your franchisors and do a better job.
The fifth suggestion I want to share with you today is to ask each other if there is anything else you can do to support each other. That is the important phrase and the crucial two words. Don’t just ask if you have all the data you require. Because I can assure you that the response will be appropriate. Yes, I visited the broker organizations’ websites, where I found all the information I required. You want to know if there is anything else I can do to be of assistance. So this will allow you to do something that will actually make a difference and have an impact? Not only that, but do you have all the knowledge? Or even the well-known “Is there anything else you need?” that occurs frequently to me. So, do you need anything else from me? In our line of work, which involves the franchise industry, franchise development, and franchise sales, I wish I had a dollar for each time I overheard someone say it to me.
Let me do a quick summary. My first advice was to communicate more often. Asking if the applicants are actually a good fit and whether I am providing you with the correct folks was the second advice I offered. The next advice I gave was to add something exceptional to these partnerships. Be different, stand out from the competition, and look different than all the other brokers or franchisor possibilities. The fourth tip I gave was, if you are a broker, provide the franchisors with better information on your candidate, and the final piece is a very straightforward but sincere professional courtesy. Do you need anything else? Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to assist you. So those are my top five suggestions for improving broker and franchisor interactions. Visit my master class if you require further instruction or information.