In this article you will learn how to build franchise sales. We will talk about the most interesting anti-selling method. You will also become familiar with the franchise sales funnel and receive practical recommendations that will be useful to franchise sales managers.
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Personally, I believe that the word "sales" is not very suitable for franchising. Selling something usually means that it is important for us to sell as much of our product as possible, and it doesn't matter to whom.

When developing a franchise, we should only attract those partners who will strengthen our brand in the region. They should fit the portrait of a franchisee: have sufficient resources and experience.

A franchise is more like a secret order that we can only dedicate to the chosen ones, than a carton of milk that anyone can buy.

Franchise packaging and sales

First and foremost, it is important to understand that franchise sales are influenced by how the franchise is developed and how the interaction process between the founder and the franchisee is built.

It is obvious that a good product sells better than a bad one. The same is true here: if the franchise is packaged correctly, it will be more successful.

When I talk about franchise packaging, I am not talking so much about creating a package of franchise documents: an agreement, a franchise book, etc. By franchise packaging, I mean creating a business scaling system: processes, systems, rules, technologies, reports. This is what should become the basis for signing the contract.

A franchise project with chaotic management is unlikely to be sold and developed quickly and effectively.

Anti-sales method

Before we dive into the franchise process, I want to tell you about a method I call the "Anti-Sales Method" that I actively use in my work.

What do most sales managers do? They chase their clients. They beg, they argue with objections, they send endless presentations and promotional emails.

What do you want to do when someone starts chasing you? Run away, of course. And if the classic sales manager is always chasing, then the classic client is always running away.

In our country, there is a traditional belief: all good products and services can only be bought through connections, through acquaintances, by standing in line, by suffering your right to buy a good product.

Don't you see a contradiction between the chasing sales manager and the traditional criteria of a cool product?

The anti-sales method is about refusing to chase the client. We only give the information that is enough to make a decision. If the interlocutor shows a lack of readiness to become a buyer, we stop the negotiations.

This does not mean that we should not move deals through our funnel and conduct negotiations and meetings. We just stop chasing the client and let them chase us. This method is perfect for franchise sales, where the task of selling a franchise is on par with the task of finding the right partners.

Properly structured franchise sales are more like a process of joining a secret order and a club of the chosen ones, where you are accepted only if you meet all the criteria and take an oath to the brand and the rules of the network.
Franchise negotiations
And if we do not sell but give the opportunity to join our brand and our network, then it is better to conduct negotiations in the format of an interview. In an interview, you ask questions, and your future franchisee answers those questions, shedding light on his motivations for joining your network, articulating the value of your brand to him. Having received answers to all the questions, you formulate a proposal, answer the interlocutor’s objections and give time to think and subsequently finalize the deal.
Franchisee objections
Before we dive into the specific objections from franchisees, I want to tell you about a universal way to handle objections. This method is storytelling. A franchise sales manager should have a story prepared for every objection and for every convenient occasion, a story that answers the objection and presents the company in the best light.
For example, a story in response to a price objection
You can reduce your lump sum payment.
We have a franchisee from Rostov-on-Don who mortgaged his apartment to buy our franchise; he also didn’t have enough money for a lump sum payment. As a result, he has already opened two locations, paid off the loan, and has now bought an apartment for his daughter. Would you like me to arrange a call for you?
Instead of a judgment, we give an illustrated answer, which is both an answer and confirmation of the objectivity of this answer. The most important thing in this method is not to lie! You should not make up these stories, this will immediately become clear, because a person tells fables differently than real stories. You must tell the truth. Naturally, collecting stories and presenting them correctly is the result of trial and error, but once you collect them, negotiations will be very easy and productive.
Collect stories and use them at the right moment.

Now let’s move directly to the objections, list the main ones, give recommendations and a brief analysis of each of the objections.
Price objections
“expensive franchise, I’d take it, but let’s make it cheaper.” This objection does not come up often. With this objection, the franchisee seems to show that he does not have enough funds. This may alert the franchisor, and it is obvious to both parties that if there is no money, already at the negotiation stage, then perhaps there is no need to buy a franchise.
What do you provide as a franchise?
If you hear this objection, in 90% of cases it means that you did not conduct the presentation correctly and the franchisee does not realize the value of the franchise at all.

This also includes all talk about guarantees. "Do you guarantee success?", "What if I fail?".

It is best to talk about the contents of the franchise on the pages of the information memorandum.
Request more information
More information is needed to make a decision: data on financial performance of specific locations, traffic measurements, customer segmentation, etc. Keep in mind that sometimes this objection is a disguised rejection. I have been in negotiations where new and new information was needed for months and years. People simply cannot say that they do not have money and they delay making a decision in this way, wasting a lot of your time.

You need to decide for yourself how many "approaches" you are willing to make, what information you will provide and what you will not.
Objective obstacle
Sometimes, your interlocutors will talk about all sorts of obstacles that are currently preventing them from buying a franchise from you. We create a legal entity, open an account, and approve it with the investor. All these are their problems and excuses with which they mask either indecision, or lack of money, or both.

I do not advise you to immerse yourself in understanding these kinds of problems.
All. those who have the motivation will cope with overcoming all sorts of small obstacles and buy.
If it is possible to create a time limit, this can help to encourage decision making and "speed up" the franchisee.
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Franchise sales funnel
Sales Funnel - how often this term is used and how tired everyone is of it! In almost every article about sales, you will definitely find a mention of this funnel.

However, frequent use is a sign that the term is very well suited to displaying the sales process, as well as for taking into account the intermediate states of the customer before the sale.

The funnel shows how many customers move on to the next stages of sales. Since more and more potential customers are filtered out at each stage, the graphical representation resembles a funnel, where there are many leads at the top, at the first stage of negotiations, and much fewer at the sales stage.

I managed franchise sales as a franchising director in several companies and I know from experience what a sales funnel looks like and how the franchise is sold.

To build a funnel, you first need to define the Customer Journey Map.

Naturally, not all companies follow the same sales scenario, but in most companies this path looks like this:

  1. Visited the website.
  2. Left a request.
  3. Studied the conditions.
  4. Asked questions.
  5. Agreed and signed the contract.
  6. Paid the lump sum.
  7. Started the opening process.
In accordance with the actions performed, you can assign appropriate statuses to leads in CRM.

1. Visitors to the site.

2. Completed the application.

3. Those who have received franchise conditions.

4. Those who asked additional questions.

5. Approved conditions.

6. Signatories of the agreement.

7. Those who have paid a lump sum fee.

8. Started opening.

We also add the starting status: “saw the advertisement”, and you will get an up-to-date and working franchise sales funnel.

With each transition from top to bottom, a certain number of leads are eliminated.

The founder’s task is to constantly monitor the sales funnel and begin activities that will be aimed at maximum conversion from stage to stage.
List of requirements for a business to become a franchise

Recommendations for a franchise sales manager

Only properly trained employees who understand their business and franchising should sell franchises. We have developed several recommendations for franchise managers, following which you can effectively build negotiations with potential franchisees and eventually reach a high level of franchise sales.

Be an industry expert.

You will be communicating with entrepreneurs and you must become an authority for them, regardless of your experience and age. This is only possible if you are thoroughly familiar with the business you are franchising.

Be a franchising expert.

Franchising involves certain procedures and specific terms. Understand them, read about them, ask questions to your colleagues. It will be foolish if the franchise buyer is better versed in the topic than you.

Process the application within 24 hours.

If you receive an application from a franchise buyer, you must respond to it within 24 hours, providing all the necessary information. It is more beneficial for you to talk to a person who still remembers who and why they sent the application. This is better than frantically explaining later who you are and why you are calling.

Finalize the deal within 2 weeks

Try to get a final answer within 1-2 weeks. If the deal has not been finalized within 2 weeks, it is most likely not going to happen.

Meeting is mandatory

Be sure to invite the interlocutor to a meeting. If a potential franchisee does not want to meet, they are even less willing to buy a franchise. Don't waste time on those who don't want to come to a meeting. I often hear from franchise managers complaining "how can a partner come to a meeting if he lives in Novosibirsk?". And it's true, where does an entrepreneur who wants to start a business for tens of millions get the money for a Novosibirsk-Moscow ticket? Usually they don't buy without a meeting, this is a conclusion that has been proven in practice.

Find new sales channels

Find out where else you can tell about your franchise and where else new applications will come from.

Filter partners

The composition of franchisees greatly affects the state of the franchise network. It is difficult to make an adult be honest, conscientious, and active. It is much easier to find a partner who already meets the required qualities. But to find the right people, you need an excess of applications to choose from.