Franchise Sales


A productive franchise sales piece is essential to any franchisor that wants to grow outside of their own backyard. From analyzing a prospective candidate, to sales strategies, to franchise development; the St. Gregory Development Group has mastered the art of franchise sales and can provide your company with a clear and concise path to moving units on a national basis.

Candidate Analysis

It will be very important for the franchisor to have a “snap shot” of potential prospects at their finger tips. The St. Gregory Group has created a “Candidate Questionnaire” we refer to as the CQ. This form captures all the critical information on a candidate. This form is a valuable tool for the recruiter. The CQ also gives the franchisor the vital information needed to approve a franchisee.

Franchise Candidate Criteria

The CQ covers a wide range of information on a potential candidate. In addition to the “face to face” interview at discovery day, the CQ will provide key information for a candidate’s approval into the system.  The CQ captures information on the following:

  • Candidate, spouse and children’s names and ages
  • Address and contact information
  • Education
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Current position for candidate and spouse
  • Compensation
  • Self employment history
  • How many units desired
  • Desired time frame to open
  • Time commitment
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Ranking of abilities
  • Assets and liabilities
  • Net worth
  • Cash available for investment
  • Statement of credit
  • Background questions

Sales Strategy

Layered Approach

Franchise sales are a major source of revenue for franchise systems. Franchisors are always in search of a magic pill when it comes to finding the right prospects. The truth is that these magic pills do not exist. Unfortunately, there is no holy grail for franchise prospects.

The St. Gregory Development Group utilizes a layered approach of various sources to create an effective franchise sales platform. This section will help you understand some of the potential sources of candidate leads for your brand. Through further discussions with you and your leadership team, we can collaboratively create a marketing plan of action that will ensure solid franchise sale results.

Lead Sources

Public Relations

A press release announcing your stations in your market area. Newly opened franchise locations should always hit the local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations. Ongoing PR is critical to brand awareness and franchise recruiting. The St. Gregory Development Group will connect you with an industry specific PR firm that truly understands your business. They will show you to the world in the proper light. This is generally a low cost effort that provides enormous impact and credibility. PR pieces should be housed on the website for effective sales tools.

Trade Shows

In our humble option, trade shows have lost a great deal of their effectiveness in the internet age. The traditional trade show allowed a large number of franchisors display their products to a large group of people at a convention center. We generally believe that these “old school” trade shows are a waste of time, money and resources. New franchises usually fall into this trap. The exception would be industry specific trade shows. For these shows, we can provide the effective techniques to design a booth, build the collateral sales material, and gather contact information from the attendees and the share best techniques to market prospects after the show.

Search Engine Optimization

Today, anyone in the world can type a few letters on a search engine screen, access a website and obtain whatever information the franchisor is willing to give. Structuring a website so that it will have the best chance of appearing organically on search engines is one form of Search Engine Marketing. The other is Pay-per-Click (PPC). There are clear and effective strategies for increasing organic leads and negotiating the best prices for PPC. Many of the best leads should and will come in directly to the franchisor’s website. Having the right message and clearly defining the next step is critical. To win in franchise recruitment, you must win the war online.

Advertising

Traditional and non- traditional forms of advertising will play a critical role in your layered marketing franchise sales approach. In terms of advertising, the St. Gregory Development Group has primarily used print and radio advertising to attract franchise candidates.

Print media platforms include major newspapers, trade publications, entrepreneur-based magazines, and advertorials. Print media casts a wide net and can provide you access to a large audience of prospects. Our team can help design creative ads that create a call to action.

In the past, the St. Gregory Development Group has also used the medium of local and national radio to attract quality franchise candidates. These spots generally cut right to the chase and can deliver a compelling message at a specific targeted audience. This message engages the prospect and clearly defines the next step (learning more) and what to do to get more information.

Referrals

In franchising, validation from your existing partners will be a critical in helping you grow your brand. The St. Gregory Development Group is extremely focused on helping you build an enduring brand with franchisees that are happy and profitable. When this occurs, your brand will grow exponentially because your franchisees will refer their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives.

Social Networking

The use of Social Network Marketing for recruiting franchisees has exploded recently due to the popularity of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Buzz, and list goes on and on. These avenues allow you provide a guerilla marketing approach and allow you to connect with candidates in a different way. Many of your potential candidates may begin as customers and then blossom into prospects. Social Networking keeps your brand relevant with your customers and may subliminally create interest in owning a franchise.

Employment Sites

Employment sites, such as Careerbuilder and Monster, offer access to the profile of your ideal franchise owner. These avenues allow you to target individuals based on liquid assets, annual incomes, and individuals with specific backgrounds. These sites will optimize your process, identify your audience, give you direct access to the right people, and help you succinctly define your message. In addition, these sites allow you to target specific markets and regions in the country that coincide with your growth strategy.

Franchise Consultant Networks

Franchise consulting networks are the “secret club” that most franchisors cannot get into. The consulting network process is similar to working with a realtor when buying a home. Experienced franchise consultants guide candidates through the franchise search process. Franchisors pay “racking fees” for the right to be “shown” to candidates by the consultants. Consultants present three companies to a candidate (their client) and work in an advisory role. Ideally, the candidate becomes a franchisee of one company and the consultant receives a portion of the franchise fee. We are able to assist franchisors gain more traction within these networks due to our strong relationships and because we are uniquely qualified to understand what the consultants are looking for from their investors.

Portals

Portals are lead generation companies that attract buyers on the internet and derive their income from franchisors that pay to post their brand on their websites. Internet franchise portals are a targeted way to reach potential business buyers online every day. With well-recognized URL’s, over 75% of visitors navigate directly to the sites or find it through natural search engine results. Major portals such as Franchise.com and FranchiseGator.com are the first places business buyers explore as they begin their franchise ownership journey. On average, 80% of candidates visiting portals request information from 3 or less companies, with over 50% requesting information from only 1 company! Additionally, portals drive quality traffic from around the internet through top rankings on search engines for the most popular franchise keywords. The St. Gregory Development Group has been dealing with these portals for years and often get preferred pricing. Additionally, we understand the secret to writing the type of effective marketing content that will drive greater lead flow.

Franchise Database

Lead generation can be the most costly and difficult of growing your franchise. The St. Gregory Development Group has a list of 200,000+ existing franchise units. This is our secret weapon. Currently, over 12% * of franchise owners are multi brand owners and this number is vastly growing. We have compiled a list of franchisees from the top brands in the United States. In many cases, the best franchisee to have is one that already owns another brand. They understand franchising, owning a business, and most importantly, have proven that they can follow a system. Often you can determine which part of the database will yield the best results by considering what franchise they own or what part of the country they are in. Many times a franchisee from another brand will already have the skill sets that you desire. This database of high net worth individuals can be marketed through email, phone or mail.

Sales Process Development

Franchisors waste millions of dollars each year with bad or unqualified in- house franchise salesmen that engage prospects with no system or process. The St. Gregory Development Group will develop a clear and distinct sales system to lead prospects to becoming franchisees.  Not only will this create a dynamic sales engine, but it will produce the right types of franchisees.   Better yet, these franchisees will be system followers.

Sales Funnel

At the top of the funnel you have “unqualified prospects” – the many people who you think might buy your franchise, but to whom you’ve never spoken to.  At the bottom of the funnel, after many sales and delivery steps later, you have people who become franchisees.  We specialize in creating “screens” to weed prospects out along the way.  Understanding the “sales funnel” is a critical step in franchise recruiting.  Many new franchisors will “chit chat” with hundreds of prospects, while never moving leads thru a clear and defined system.  This is a waste of time and resources.  It also presents a disorganized view of the brand. The St. Gregory Development Group realizes that candidates show interest with their actions not their words. We will create a “sales funnel” that will isolate and identify these “buying actions”, thereby identifying the highest quality candidates to become franchisees.

**Please review the attached Sample Sales Funnel for an example.

Technology

To sell a brand locally, regionally, or nationally, it is critical to use the latest technology advances. Franchise sales organizations are made up of two distinct groups; the “quick and the dead”. The St. Gregory Development Group will implement the latest advances in sales techniques. This will increase effectiveness, conserve critical resources, and present the brand to candidates as “up to date” with the latest technologies.

Digital Brochure

“Just put something in the mail”…these days are gone. Digital Brochures give prospects instant access to critical information about the company.  Digital brochures use “locked modules” to release the “right information” at the “right time”.  The information is delivered by streaming video.  The prospect has his or her login and password.  The brochure acts a trail map thru the investigation process. If you don’t have a digital brochure in today franchising market, you are throwing stones in a nuclear age.  We will coordinate the content and arrange construction of the brochure.

Webinars

Web presentations are the key to franchise sales. Prospects in today’s market do not have an expectation of a “face to face” meeting until the very end of the sales process.  That “face to face” generally occurs at a Discovery Day.  Webinars allow for the exchange of visual information as well as audio. Three dimensional images convey key concepts that “telephone only” conversations clearly lack. Recorded web presentations can be replayed to spouses and advisors.  The time and resources saved by not traveling allows the franchise recruiter to touch literally hundreds of candidates in a thirty day period. The St. Gregory Development group will construct and deliver web presentations that will lead the prospects step by step on the path to the “face to face” meeting at discovery day.

Franchise Recruitment

Sales CRM

CRM is the acronym for the term “customer relationship management”.  CRM is the common terminology used to describe the managing of prospects all the way through the entire sales process. There is specially designed software for customer relationship management (CRM) that can be either installed directly into a computer or through a web based system that is accessible only online.  CRM systems are useful in that they enable the management of the entire prospect/customer details such as the names, addresses, phone numbers, call records and purchase history and more. Other uses include planning of appointments, schedule of call back times and other sales related activities.  Automated CRM, depending on the system, can be for only one user, or for several users to have access to customer account depending on the system, can be for only one user, or for several users to have access to customer accounts.

Tracking

Computer specific software has allowed for CRM tracking to become very efficient.  The franchisor will be able to monitor lead production based on specific campaigns as well as follow leads through different phases of the sales system.  Tracking lead flow allows for efficiencies of both time and resources.

Reporting

The St. Gregory Development Group will report to our partners in two uniformed ways:

  • Weekly sales conference call
    • Clear communication is the key to healthy relationship
    • Both entities can discuss needs, expectations and forecasts on a weekly basis
  • Weekly written sales report and forecast
    • Categories to include
      • Leads
      • Hot leads
      • Discovery Days scheduled
      • Potential Sales
      • Contracts out (pending deals)
      • Forecasted to close for the month
      • Overall sales pipeline