The State of Franchising - Waiting for Inbound Leads

Waiting for qualified franchise buyers to find you on all those web portals is frustrating.

The results are decidedly mixed.

Franchisors are rightly concerned about the web portal business model. Web portals collct & sell leads, non-exclusive leads. You can end up emailing someone who has never heard of you. And you know what happens then. You have wasted your time & money.

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An Alternative -- Prospect for Latent Affinity

Now, while I was with a very well-known established & capital intensive franchisor we decided waiting for web portal franchise leads wasn't working well enough. We wanted our franchise buyer identification to work better.

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So, we decided to study our most successful franchisees, build a target profile, and test it.

Here are the three simple steps we took.

  1. We profiled and interviewed a statistically relevant sample of existing franchisees and built a profile matrix.

  1. Profiled an equal number of qualified franchise candidates who did not buy a franchise but could have.

  1. Interviewed a control group based on the profiles we built.

We carefully examined the data we collected. We discovered something surprising in the analysis.

Time and time again, while interviewing the control group, utilizing an experienced 3rd party, the respondents voluntarily said:

"Hey that's something that I might be interested in doing"!

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What we learned was that there were lots of people who were not actively looking for a franchise investment -but who possessed talent and capital- and their interest in our concept was latent and had to brought to the surface! We just weren't getting the right message to them.

We decided that a geographic targeted and tactical outbound marketing and recruiting component was something we had to add to our franchise lead generation budget. We reallocated our funds to make it happen. It was very successful. And continues to this day.

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How Start - Create Target Lists Using LinkedIn Filters

Heck, you don't have to be even that scientific. Today, I would use a slightly different approach.

I would create a basic qualification list in a target market and use direct response or mail to invite individuals an exclusive event.

I would use LinkedIn to create these lists.

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Latent affinity lead generation prospecting is a bit more work than simply creating franchise sales landing pages on a bunch of web portals.

But, finding franchise buyers with a latent affinity for franchising and your concept is something no serious franchisor can ignore.

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