Timely Advice for Franchisors

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How to Quit Having Discovery Days & Sell More Franchises

Posted by Joe Caruso  |  category Sales

I've been selling franchises for quite awhile. It might surprise you to learn that I had never held a Discovery Day until years after I began selling franchises.

Yes, that's right I sold franchises without a Discovery Day with tremendous success. And I'm confident having a Discovery Day would have sold less franchises.

When I started selling franchises at a capital intensive quick service restaurant - QSR franchisor I went through my franchise development process training to learn how they sold franchises.

Here's some of what I learned about their franchise sales process. 

About three years earlier the QSR franchisor had hired a franchise consultant to come in and redesign their franchise sales process. And they didn't have a Discovery Day in the new franchise sales process. Although they ended up with one of longest franchise sales processes in franchising. However it did include inviting our qualified prospective franchisees to a Corporate Interview at headquarters. 

Two years into successfully selling these QSR franchises I discovered our process was simply not as effective as it could be. 

It lacked grace & worse it didn't describe what actually happened.

My opinion is that you need a process for simple sales transactions as well as complex ones. Of course franchise sales is a complex sale, but it doesn't have to be painful for the participants. It seems to me that if it's graceful for the franchise-buyers & the franchise sellers you will likely get better compliance and faithfulness to it? People just do better with things they like and understand. I know I do, and you probably do too.

Now I was working with sophisticated high net worth prospects.They were already successful and they were smart. They also didn't love the idea of having to go to a Corporate Interview. It was a tough sell, a brick wall, and it didn't need to be that way.  Our team agreed. So we decided to change it.

We began looking around at what similar franchisors were doing. We found that many if not most franchisors had a Discovery Day. We thought Discovery Day didn't fit exactly with what we wanted in the architecture of our new franchise sales process. We had already designed the process to be give & take in the exchanges of information though out the sales & decision steps.

We considered: Decision Day, Confirmation Day, Meet the Franchisee Day and many others, some better some worse.

We decided on Development Strategy Meeting. Here's what we liked about that name and why we chose it over Discovery Day.

Discovery Day seems to always get shortened to D-Day in everyday corporate-speak which is fine for WWII buffs, but not for building a franchise relationship. And "Development Strategy Meeting" didn't roll of the tongue shortened to DSM in the same way or regularity.

With Development Strategy Meeting we could keep the description of the content focused how the candidate was going to develop, what schedule & where, who was going to be the operating principal and who would go into training. 

You see we already had successful content and schedule for the Corporate Interview, we just had a poor name.  

The result was the sales scripts to get franchise prospects to the Development Strategy Meeting worked better after the change to that name and we sold more franchises. 

So if you have a Corporate Interview or an unforgivingly named equivalent step in you franchise sales process you should get rid of that name. And find something that works because it describes what you do.


January 25, 2014 01:32 PM

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