Franchise Update Magazine Issue II, 2013 - Page 69

Grow Market Lead It’s closing time BY STEVE OLSON Quick-Start Recruitment Training Y Six tips to step up your success ou’ll recruit franchisees much faster if you initially understand, prepare, and engage the best methods for selling franchises. Foremost is learning to lead qualified candidates through an effective sales and closing process. Just as critical is to capitalize on these six oftenignored techniques that can jump-start your success! 1) Visit with franchisees. Franchisees are a wealth of information, encouragement, tips, successes, anecdotes, and experiences for the new sales person. Sharing owner stories is powerful with buyers as they are most interested in your franchisees—not you! They want to know how your franchisees are doing, the victories and challenges they face. Calling and visiting with your current owners is a must. Remember, prospects believe the franchisee running the business more than they believe you, the sales person. 2) Shop the competition. As in any business, if you don’t know what your competitors are doing, you’ll flounder in ignorance. Contacting direct and indirect competition is smart business, and quickly provides marketing intelligence you can apply in your sales presentations. For instance, emphasize your outstanding training programs if you discover other franchises can’t match the extensive startup support and coaching you deliver. Shopping a competitive sales exec, Hal, paid off big-time for me when recruiting franchises for American Advertising Distributors. When I had prospects who wanted to check out our competition, I graciously referred candidates to Hal. You see, I discovered he was my best sales person. He was a nice, older gentleman, but hard-of-hearing, yell- ing when he spoke to me as a potential buyer. It was obvious Hal struggled to close any deals. He really appreciated the prospects I sent him for comparison shopping. I really appreciated his help in closing more deals for me. 3) Role-play for refinement. Most sales people dislike role-playing. It’s not fun, especially when starting out. But it’s a money-producing technique that instantly forces you to better prepare, practice, and present your franchise op- Shortcut selling is losing deals in today’s market for quality buyers. Invest the time and recruit the right way. It will earn you additional thousands in royalty fees and brandbuilding benefits. portunity. Contacting prospects without receiving the benefits of role-playing can unnecessarily cost you franchise sales you can’t afford to lose. 4) Shop yourself. Ralph Ross, a former boss and mentor, taught me the self-learning process of recording my sales calls so I could listen to the playback and perfect each step of my sales presentation. If you are a new or seasoned sales person wanting to polish your skills, this feedback process really works! It’s a “Berlitz” approach to faster learning. Record your conversations until you feel comfortable with your prospect conversations. Next ask your boss to listen and comment on what you are doing well, and for suggestions where you can sharpen your selling skills. If you make the effort to engage in this self-improvement exercise you can rise to the top a lot faster. Try it if you dare! 5) Learn one step at a time. Don’t attempt to learn the sales process all at once. Solely focus on the first step until you get it right; then concentrate on the second and successive steps. Only after you successfully pre-qualify an inquiry, receive your first application, and book the prospect for a follow-up interview is it time for you to dive into total preparation for the next stage of the process. This vertical learning by segments will provide greater clarity of the recruitment journey as you move from step to step. It’s the “Swiss cheese method” of poking holes one at a time, rather than trying to swallow a huge chunk all at once. Franchise selling takes time, practice, and feedback to master the details, variables, and nuances within each stage of the process. 6) Contact your worst leads first. First impressions are everything in franchise recruitment. If a qualified candidate ready to buy has contacted two other brands and wants to know about yours, you’d better have your act together. I worked with a young food franchisor who immediately tried selling some promising referrals. What a disaster! The founder was “shotgunning” information at these prospects. When I asked him to share relevant information about these once-interested candidates, he couldn’t respond since he hadn’t yet learned how to listen, probe, and qualify. If you are a first-time recruiter, practice on your weakest suspects first. Use these inquiries as your training ground. So get growing now! Shortcut selling is losing deals in today’s market for quality buyers. Invest the time and recruit the right way. It will earn you additional thousands in royalty fees and brand-building benefits. n This article is an excerpt from best-seller, Grow to Greatness: How to Build a World-Class Franchise System Faster by Steve Olson. For ordering information, go to Franchiseupdate I ssue I I , 2013  67