enjoyed writing this column , contributing my observations , tips , opinions , and sales stories , with the intent of sharing best practices in franchise development . I hope some of the perspectives provided have been of value to help further grow your brand . Periodically engaging the expertise of CEOs and recruiting pros has been most helpful , which has ensured that relevant issues and content were addressed .
I am most grateful for having the opportunity to script multiple articles for this column , as well as for the online Franchise Update Sales Report ( FUSR ) newsletter , and a few other franchise publications through the years . The following are my top three favorite articles that still hold true in today ’ s franchise recruitment environment .
1 . First industry mystery shopping study In 1989 when vice president of sales at Money Mailer , I was curious to know how other franchise sales execs were responding to qualified prospects by phone . I also wanted to see how they screened these inquiries about their
BY STEVE OLSON
Before bidding farewell to this popular , long-running column by Steve Olson , all of us at Franchise Update Media would like to thank him and wish him well in his next venture . Over his more than 7 years as president of Franchise Update Media , we had the privilege of getting to know , respect , and appreciate him for both his expertise and his inspiration . During those years , we worked closely with him to publish his # 1 Amazon best-seller , Grow to Greatness : How To Build a World-Class Franchise System Faster . In his 30-plus years in franchising , Steve has consistently shown himself to be a friend , advisor , and one-man support system for individuals , companies , and franchising as a whole . We ’ ll miss him , but we ’ re happy to know that others will benefit as he reprises his role as a franchise consultant . It ’ s closing time . franchise opportunity . The findings of these results were initially presented at an industry conference and later morphed into Franchise Update ’ s Annual Franchise Development Report , the AFDR .
If you don ’ t earn credibility , confidence , and trust with your buyers , you won ’ t succeed in franchise sales .
Those industry conference attendees were shocked ! Ninety-one percent did not pre-qualify for financial and current occupation , nor did they ask when they wanted to start their business . Among other poor practices , 77 percent of the recruiters did not share or clarify any information about their franchise opportunity . As expected , franchise CEOs also were shocked . I was relieved when I realized that I was among the few who pre-qualified inquiries . Naturally , the first thing I did when returning to the office was ask my boss for a raise !
2 . Most-read article : 3,650 + reads to date This best-seller column definitely struck a chord with our readers . You can still read this popular article online . Just search for “ Franchise Update You ’ re Measuring What ?: Using Metrics that Matter .” Let ’ s face it . The lack of analytics is the Achilles ’ heel of franchise development . You never will improve performance unless you continuously track , evaluate , and measure your results .
3 . My favorite article “ Mastering the Psychology of Buyers ” is clearly my number-one choice ( and has nearly 2,600 reads ). I have always been fascinated by what turns on and turns off franchise buyers . Unless you understand how buyers think , act , behave , feel , make decisions , and respond to you and your franchise , the chances are you will fail as a successful recruiter . If you don ’ t earn credibility , confidence , and trust with your buyers , you won ’ t succeed in franchise sales . This is not an easy task in today ’ s fight for qualified buyers . Consequently , today ’ s successful sales leaders require the right characteristics , traits , attributes , skill sets , and cultural values . Is this a tall order to fill ? You bet it is ! As a result , hiring selection and effective training programs are needed more today than at any other time in our franchise history .
What ’ s next So what ’ s next in my future ? Of little surprise , I will continue to actively engage in my consulting practice , helping franchise brands grow healthy , leverage their strengths , and close their performance gaps . n
Steve Olson is a 30-year franchise veteran specializing in development performance . He is the author of the # 1 Amazon bestseller , Grow to Greatness : How To Build a World-Class Franchise System Faster , available at www . growtogreatness . net . He can be reached at OlsonandAssociates . com or by phone at 562-856-1909 .