The Recruitment Process
Franchise recruitment is both an art and a science. Helping people navigate the process of making what is likely one of the most important decisions of their life takes patience, poise, and excellent communication skills. Likewise, finding out all the information you as the franchisor need to determine if a prospect is a good fit for your system requires finesse and perseverance. Because a franchise sale can be such a drawn-out process, a recruitment process is key to your success. The purpose of having a clearly defined sales process is so everyone involved, including the prospect, has an understanding of expectations, timelines, and deliverables. By having a defined process, and tracking metrics, you can also measure the performance of both your marketing efforts and your staff.
A sales process is a waste of time if you don’t communicate it. Obviously, you will communicate it to the sales staff, but the sales process should also be communicated the prospect and the executive team of the company. By having a clear roadmap, the prospect knows what to expect and when. This makes them less likely to jump ahead of your process, will stop them from getting sidetracked, and also will convey to them that you take the evaluation process seriously. Understanding the sales process, at least at a high level, will help your executive team better forecast, budget, and understand reports that they are provided.
An example pre-qualification script as well as examples of key documents mentioned including the application and the Request for Consideration, are available in the Additional Resources section at the end of this book.
One of the keys to a successful sales process is consistent use of a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) platform for documentation. There are many options for CRMs. I personally have used and recommend two brands—FranConnect (formerly Process Peak) and SalesForce. Each has its pros and cons. FranConnect is a franchise-specific software, so it is built with the franchise system in mind. For basic out-of-the-box functionality, I think it is the top CRM. However, I use SalesForce when possible. The reason is that SalesForce is more customizable by the end user. SalesForce is not specifically franchise-friendly out of the box, though. If you are not a tech person, and don’t want to do significant customization to your CRM, you are likely better off with FranConnect. FranConnect really isn’t customizable by the end user. If you want to be able to tweak your CRM to match your sales process yourself, SalesForce is your answer. You can’t go wrong with either of these brands. There are other brands out there, as well, and of course more will come onto the stage.
Regardless of your CRM selection, the most important factor is to use the CRM without fail.
By recording each milestone, with dates, in your CRM, you will be able to more accurately track the sales process, project sales and revenue, identify individual and systemic bottlenecks, and insure that each prospect gets a full breadth of knowledge to make an informed investment decision in the most time-efficient way possible. It is essential that each person involved in the sales process record any significant interactions with a prospect, including conversations, email exchanges, and attempts at contact.
Below is a basic sales process. As I mentioned in the previous chapter, your sales process will need to be modified based on the lead source. As an example, for portal leads, I often have a two-step prequalification process. I have an employee who does the initial contact, asks 1-2 qualifying questions, and then calendars a call with me to do the “real” prequalification call. The purpose of this pre-prequalification is to sift through the 60%-75% of people that are never going to answer their phone, and the few folks that either are looking for employment and hit the wrong part of your website, inquired and then realized that your brand just isn’t for them, or have changed their mind about business ownership in general. For broker/consultant leads, my employee puts the lead in the CRM and I do the first call.
This stage starts with taking or confirming the potential prospect’s basic contact information and screening them with six to eight key questions. Secondly, you will present a benefit-loaded description of your business and opportunity; describe the candidate you are looking for, the type of person who can be successful in your system, and the process for taking the next step.
The pre-qualification call is meant to be an overview. You will want to deflect most detailed questions until after the prospect has reviewed your initial information packet and submitted a Request for Consideration. Your goal is to increase the prospect’s appetite for the opportunity and create a responsive candidate hungry for more information. Too much conversation during your first contact can lead to information overload and is counterproductive.