Banish The Fear of Selling... Forever
We know that potential franchisees are attracted to entrepreneurship because they like what the business concept represents. A potential franchisee buys into a pet concept because of their affection for animals, or a wellness concept because they're committed to health. We like that our franchisees are passionate about our concepts. But we want them to be able to sell these concepts, too! And that's a whole lot tougher.
Most prospects come with a firm belief in the product or service…but a limited strength in sales and marketing. Yet sales and marketing skills are the very skills they need to sell themselves and their services…the skills they need to keep the business alive! If your potential franchisees and existing franchisees are like most…they are lacking the "selling gene".
Here are 2 steps guaranteed to give your franchisees the courage they need to begin getting comfortable with selling…immediately.
Step 1: Be sure your franchisees know exactly who they're selling to, what it is they're selling, and what problems they solve for their target markets
The elder-care services sector presents a booming example. It's obvious that franchisees in this sector are selling affordable and quality health and housing services to senior citizens. In reality, they are also selling viable and comforting solutions to the baby-boomer children of these seniors. So, in the bigger sense, franchisees in this sector are really selling emotionally- laden promises to boomers and their aging parents. These are two very diverse target markets. And each of these markets has its own set of problems.
They each have the typical problems that we all have…problems with time, money, and relationships. But on top of that, these groups are dealing with the more immediate problem of finding suitable living and/or medical arrangements, and the even bigger problem of dealing with death and dying. It doesn't get much tougher than this! Wouldn't it be smart if these franchisees could articulate exactly what problems they solve and why they do it better than the rest? So that when they are contacted by a prospect, or attend a networking event, they will be able to quickly and effectively say what they do.
Take the Coaching Challenge
Help your franchisees to clearly identify their target markets. Have them make a list of every single problem they are solving for their target markets, from the obvious to the less obvious. Then have them write the answer to these 2 questions: What does their business do? How does it do it better than the rest?
Step 2: Help your franchisees to re-define the word "selling" so that it is comfortable for them and for their customers.
As mentioned, many franchisees do not come to the table with sales and marketing skills. Some of your franchisees will be born extroverts, but just as many will be introverts or somewhere-in-between. It's scary enough being the new owner of a business without having to approach prospective customers and sell them on the business too. It is a fact that many franchisees are uncomfortable with the notion of selling their concept to others. Especially when the business is their own, because then rejection feels more personal.
Wouldn't it be great if franchisees could understand that selling is nothing more than the creation of a new relationship? And that this is something they already know how to do. Franchisees can be armed with positive solutions to the selling dilemma. Help them to locate resources such as books, seminars, and audio programs dedicated to relationship selling. And watch their confidence grow!
Take the Coaching Challenge
Have your franchisees look up the definition of the word "selling". Notice that there is nothing nasty in that definition at all. Now have them list every quality and characteristic that contributes to a positive sales experience. Help them to take on the challenge of creating a sales process that is comfortable for both them and for their customers.
About the Author:
Flo Schell, EdM, is a Certified Sales Coach and Founder of Franchise Coaching Systems, a firm dedicated to co-creating strong bottom lines with franchise companies worldwide. Flo is former VP Franchise Development, Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. Flo can be reached at www.FloSchell.com.
How Franchisees Can Grow Their Sales
However, once the ribbons come down and time passes, franchisees begin to recognize the challenge ahead and that, in many ways, they're on their own: regardless of the amount of support their franchisor provides, the franchisee is ultimately responsible for generating sales for his or her new business.
The first point I made ties into this, but you need to make sure you’ve done your research before you go ahead and sign a franchising agreement. And that doesn’t just mean from a financial perspective. There are so many other aspects in running a franchise that you need to understand before you get started. Most of this information can be found in the Franchise Disclosure Documents. Some of the most important things you should take a look at would be any legal issues the franchisor might have and the churn rate of franchises. Both of those could potentially be pretty significant red flags that might make you want to reconsider whether or not you want to open that franchise.