lunes, 6 de junio de 2016

Winds of change in franchise sales

As technology is overwhelming us in every aspect of our lives, it is expected that this will also affect the franchise industry, particularly in obtaining leads that can become franchisees. This forces us, who work in the industry, to improve our business practices and to strongly change , in some cases, the strategy and tactics of approach.

1- WHAT? First, it is necessary to take into account that people now, more than ever, have access to lots of information available on the cloud. Much of this information is "junk" but whoever reads it doesn't know, so many times misconceptions have to be corrected during conversations with a prospect. But regardless of the quality of information, what we must ensure is that our company information is instantly available anywhere and on any device, because today, any potential buyer expects that. The only thing that mobile devices have achieved is raising expectations of anxiety to get certain information, and people expect quality content now and not later, especially if you're trying to sell them something.

So what does it mean for a brand today "to offer a franchise"? More than ever, precisely because of the noise that surrounds us today, to offer a franchise means to offer a clear value proposition, a very clear differentiation from competitors, competitive advantage, something competitors can not copy or that it will take a long time to credibly copy . Make sure to have a very different presentation that causes a "chilling" impression that attracts like a magnet to prospects, which makes them "click" in the ad that we offer through social media or through an e-mail marketing campaign. Do not expect the prospect to go to an Internet site to get bored with worthless proposals, after reading that, without exception, those who offer the proposal are the industry leaders (!?). We must cause an overwhelming impression from the brand, from concept and from the visual presentation, and today more than ever, we must use video rather than photos.See some statistics about. 

2- WHY? You have heard of course that millennials are the most important consumer force of the next 10 or 20 years, but what is not heard very often is that they will be also the main buyers of franchises. So can we think that the next 10 or 20 years will be the franchise industry best years ever? Millennials do not want to work "full time" as baby boomers and X generation had as an undisputed model. It's quite remarkable their "part-time" bias. Buying a franchise can be a great job opportunity for many of these young people who favor "a better balance between work and leisure" over the mad rush for wealth and material goods of ancient generations. I'm not saying that a franchise should not be handled "full time", but if franchisors are able to design franchise models with a structure that will support a "part time by the franchisee control" they would have taken an important step to attract milennials. Many sectors have not yet developed their expansion plans by franchising. The food industry and the traditional franchise systems in general, will soon leave their way to other sectors that will find an alternative in franchising for new generations.

See for instance these two argentine franchises in non traditional sectors.

ÁCUMEN, is a method for training high performance athletes through physical, visual and mental techniques, in order to develop more neuronal and synapsis connections

EL POTRERO ESCUELA ARGENTINA DE FUTBOL, a soccer school training the well known around the world argentine soccer tactics

3- HOW? 30 years ago, when I started my career, I used the phone to offer franchises to my prospects. You had to print brochures and distribute them in some way, especially through franchise exhibitions. Today all that has lost its appeal and more than that, the new generations are widely against printing on paper, due to their awareness of environmental protection. The less paper, the better.

The prospects today are obtained mainly by electronic means that make use of so called business intelligence. SEO and paid search in social networks or search engines are fast becoming the right choice for a campaign aimed to obtain potential franchisees. Both need patience and time, a considerable investment and, crucially, a professional guidance which not only will help potential buyers to organically find the site of the brand that sells a franchise, but also to turn them into leads, making them fill out forms or landing pages, messages, and similar strategies. Paid search traffic has become very attractive in franchising and cost per lead in major search engines has increased considerably, making it sometimes unapproachable for new start up franchisors. However, these seem to be the rules now.

Mobile technology has definitely changed the communication industry. All mobile franchisor must have a proposal that fits all mobile devices today. If a prospect can not solve the problem of obtaining information about a franchise through a cell phone, most likely never will become a lead.

Franchises exhibitions have fallen dramatically in its attractiveness to generate leads with the arrival of mobile technologies and online payment ads. Exhibitions require a large investment in stands, architecture and dedicated sales force for some days, and expenses are rarely justified in terms of results.

However, there were never so many available and accessible media to offer the sale of a franchise like now. If we are able to leverage several tools in a smart strategy, the expansion process can be even more simple and effective in terms of investment and return than traditional mechanisms we have used for many years.

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