In my last post, I wrote about the most important thing most emerging franchisors fail to master: the craft of franchise sales.
I underscored how spending money was a key to franchise sales growth.
But there is a second major factor in sales growth that very few franchisors understand:
The art of storytelling.
You see, selling a franchise location is no easy task.
Think about the hurdles your prospect must jump over to become a franchisee:
- Please give me everything you have ever made and saved in your life. And on top of that, go into massive debt;
- Now, sign a 243-page legal document that a) you won’t understand b) details how if you make a ‘misstep’, you can lose everything;
- Commit to a term that in many cases is longer than the duration of the average marriage;
- And do all of this with little understanding or clarity on just how much money it is possible for you to make.
When I spell it out like that, it actually sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it? Why would anyone want to buy a franchise?
And these are only the hurdles you must convince your candidate to surmount. You, as the franchisor, also have some major obstacles of your own to face:
- Competition from over 4,000 other franchise systems, many with a far more compelling business opportunity than yours and way more money to spend on lead generation
- Validation (aka. where the bodies are buried in the case of many franchise systems)
- Financing challenges
- Low performers and disgruntled partners
I could go on and on.
So, the question becomes how do you overcome these challenges? In all of our years of franchise sales, one over-arching theme has stood out to us above all of the rest: Trust is the holy grail of franchise sales.
You have to stop looking at franchise sales simply as a transaction and look at it instead as a long-term relationship. Once you take this perspective, it becomes a lot easier to build trust. And the key to successful franchise sales?
You must learn the ART of storytelling.
NO ONE WANTS TO BE SOLD TO.
Everybody hates being sold to, but everybody loves a good story.
Think about it: your buyer isn’t just buying a business. They are buying a dream; a vision of what their life will look like someday.
They are buying a picture of what their life will look like on a day-to-day basis; what their income will be; what kind of nest egg they are building for retirement. They are building a picture of their possible purpose in life.
Your job? It is to help them craft this vision.
Buying a franchise is probably one of the most emotional, difficult, and exciting decisions a person can make in their life.
To help paint this picture and build trust along the 4 to 6-month sales process, we use the Hartify Method for Franchise Sales to teach our clients stellar storytelling.
Stories reveal who you and your brand are, and what you stand for. Stories radically differentiate you from every other franchise brand in your category. Stories resonate with the emotional side of this enormous, life-changing decision.
I often get asked: “How did you grow so fast when you were franchising?” We grew past 100 open locations in under 5 years of franchising, which was pretty fast.
My answer is simple: we mastered the art of storytelling. We created a franchise sales process that dialled a candidate deep into our brand and ‘pulled’ them through a journey that matched the highs and lows of the buying process.
So, at the Franchise GrowthLab, when we start working with a new brand, we spend a LOT of time digging to discover, craft and polish the stories we need to tell, to engage a prospect for the long timeline it takes to close a franchise sale.
Let us know if you want to find out more about our Stellar Storytelling process and The Hartify Method for Franchise Sales.
After starting multiple franchise businesses, building and running multiple franchise brands, spending 15 years immersing ourselves into all things franchising, learning how to build a world-class organization, and of course, answering the question “how do I franchise my business” at least 150 times, we have compiled our learnings into our “Top 10 Habits of Best in Class Franchisors.” Free download below.