What’s New in Franchises Sales Processes?

Your Franchise Sales Process, “FSP”, dates back to the early 1990’s — especially if you are awarding franchises instead selling a franchise.

In the early 1990’s, we had:

  1. Land lines for phones. “Smart” phones had an answering machine, but most people answered their calls.
  2. You used a fax to send a written document.
  3. Email was restricted to people who had University accounts.
  4. People read newspapers, looked for jobs and new businesses in the classifieds of the newspapers.

Prospects who inquired about your franchise were easy to get a hold of.

Now, almost 30 years later, we have:

  1. Cell phones which automatically block many callers and send them to voice mail.
  2. Faxes are obsolete, unless you are working in a hospital.
  3. Spam filters at the ISP level and local mailbox level prevent most unsolicited email from reaching your target.
  4. The reach of newspapers has been severely curtailed.

Prospects who inquire about your franchise are very hard to get a hold of — if you are just using 1990 technology.

So, how does your FSP need to adapt?  Here are new better practices you want to be adopting.

  1.  What are new methods of lead generation?
  2. Why are portals increasingly expensive and ineffective?
  3. What can your franchise sales team do to get more scheduled calls from prospects?
  4. Why your prospects won’t fill out your online application.
  5. Can your FSP be automated?  Will it help?


Join our panel on Tuesday, Sept 18th, at the Tower Club to Learn More.

Stop Giving Everything Away & Start Making More Franchise Sales

The Franchise sales process has changed since I began over 20 years ago.

Back when I started out, people interested in franchises used the telephone to inquire and request information.

Because they saw our ads in the Wall Street Journal or some other important franchising magazine. 

We talked to them and sent our info packets out through the mail or UPS NextDay.  The sales process had begun.

But, today franchisors are building costly & elaborate franchise recruitment websites.

  • They give probable purchasers glossy franchise brochure PDF downloads.

  • They use higher-powered full-blown & expensive CRMs to move the probable purchasers through to a sale.

Yet, here’s the biggest complaint I hear today from franchisors.

Their sales teams can’t get people on the telephone. The leads will not call them back -or the phone number was fake.

Now that is a big problem. 

You cannot sell franchise to someone who won’t answer their phone or call you.  

Why aren’t they returning your calls?

You built a wonderful franchise “information platform”. These probable purchasers have all the research they need.  Don’t they?

But, they still won’t return your call.

Do you know why?

The probable purchaser feels as though he doesn’t need to talk to your franchise sales team members.  You have provided all the information.

You had the best of intentions. You wanted to make it easy for their sales team to sell franchises.  It is disappointing to spend all this money.

I know what the problem & I can fix it.

Because I have been doing franchise sales development for a very long time.

And Mike Webster knows a thing or two about how people really make franchise investment decisions.

So, when you need a combination of great practical skill and wonderful social science – which no other franchise developer group can give you- give us call and we will fix your sales process for you.

The Main Reason Your Franchise Recruitment Website Will not Sell Franchises

The quality of franchise sales has decreased over the last twenty years.  And I know some of the reasons why & what can be done to reverse the trend.

First, we have to remember that there is no specialized franchise sales training available to franchisors.  

In contrast to Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Xerox, there is no sales as process, no question based selling or no consultative selling training offered to franchisors.

Despite having to sell a complex product with very large price tags, franchise sales is often treated like a consumer sale.  

“Here is our franchise agreement, one price fits all. Buy my stuff.” Doesn’t work well.

Second, there has also been an unfavorable growth in technologies – first CRMs and now web portals.  The aim is to displace the salesman.  CRMs and web portals are sold with the promise of making the machine or website eliminate the need for the consultative based sales force.  

But, the end product is not a commodity and we cannot reduce the sales process to a mere transaction.  

Finally, many sales departments have forgotten their ability to sell.

Let me tell you about a little test I did, some years ago.

I gathered our top 50 franchisees in terms  of gross revenue.  I also found their initial applications.  I then redacted their names from the applications, but nothing else. (Back then, we weren’t collecting a lot of personal information.) I distributed the applications of what would be our top 50 performers to our sales staff.

How many of those top 50 performers would our sales staff identify and process acting only on the very incomplete application?


We would have missed all 50 – because we were now more focussed on the demands of the CRM rather than selling.  We demand too much information before we begin the sales process – and most of the information is not needed.  (And what is needed isn’t asked for!)

We have forgotten how to sell.  We aren’t mentoring our younger sales forces, the way I was mentored.

So, take a look at your online application.  Ask whether you really need the candidate to fill out all the information just in order to start your sales process.


If you only sell one franchise because of attending this Lunch and Learn, it will be worth it.

Time: Tuesday, May 20th from 11:45 – 2pm

The Tower Club in Tysons Corner VA 

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – Round Table 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register 


Bring Out Your Dead

Remember – “Bring out Your Dead? Well, you might be killing your leads too early, too. 

In the early 1990s,  I was in charge of US development for a top QSR franchise. 

At that time we relied on targeted marketing by DMA (Designated Market Area), trade shows and the display advertising to attract attention to our franchise offering.

Ours leads came in by telephone, brochures & applications were mailed and the follow up was telephone and FAX machine.

We were very good at managing our prospective franchisee pipeline using a basic CRM and Excel. We tracked conversion, diligently followed up with candidates until they bought or dropped out of the franchise sales process.

So we pretty much knew a lead was dead when it was dead. We had done our best with our qualified leads to maintain interest in our program but for some we couldn’t create that intense desire to buy.

We knew some of the leads might make other franchise investments and others would make no decision to buy a franchise.

Our brand was very well known. We invested heavily in lead generation and got a lot of leads every year. 

But we wanted to do more with the qualified leads who quit us and our process.

So we brought our sales team together to solve the problem of following up with someone who was no longer pursuing our franchise and may not be enthusiastic about talking with us.

We knew we had to have a solution that was thoughtful and easy for our prospects. We needed the qualified lead to respond to us and it was important that they do something that told us they wanted to re-activate their franchise application.

Here are the four simple things we did –

  • Created a well crafted an inviting sales letter to re-attract attention.

  • Used the best and fasted technology available – A FAX machine. 

  • Asked our dead lead one question – “Would you like to reactivate your franchise application?”

  • Gave them one thing to do to restart the process – Simply fax back this letter and we will get you back on track to developing your first restaurant”.

The program worked great!

We revived “dead” leads and sold more franchises.  How might you try that today?  Come to CAFA on Tuesday, May 20th and let’s chat.


If you only sell one franchise because of attending this Lunch and Learn, it will be worth it!

Time: Tuesday, May 20th from 11:45 – 2pm

The Tower Club in Tysons Corner VA 

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – Round Table 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register 


Why Passionate Franchisors Cannot Sell, Neil Rackham Explains in Two Minutes.

Neil Rackham is one of the best known modern sales leader who combines expert theoretical knowledge with practical intuitions to deliver effective sales-as-a-process tools.

Sales-as-a-process dates back to NCR’s founding father, John Henry Patterson. Rackman, the author of Spin Selling, has updated some of Patterson’s original thinking about how to create an effective sales process.

One surprising result is that passion won’t produce sales.  Because passionate people aren’t conscious listeners.

Neil Rackham explains why in this video -pay attention to the first 2:12 minutes.  [Neil is talking about entrepreneurs, but he could be also talking about franchisors.]

The fundamental reason why [franchisors cannot sell franchises] is that, almost by definition, a franchisor has a deep enthusiasm for what they are doing and their products.

And one thing we know about selling, we’ve known for nearly forty years, the best selling isn’t at all about your products and what you can offer, it is very much about the customer and their needs.

And franchisors very often swamp the customer.

After all, since 1970 research has shown that in a sales call the more time a customer talks the higher the probability that the call will succeed.

In my experience, franchisors cannot help themselves.  When they get in front of the customer, they want to tell them The Story.

It can be a very compelling story, it just doesn’t cause the franchise prospect to buy, as well as if they focused on the prospect and listened to what the prospect needs were and worked from there.

Franchisors do listen], but they listen very selectively.

They are listening for how can I get in and start talking about what I can offer.

[But] when you study highly effective sales people, one of the things you find is that highly effective sales people talk about solutions or what they could offer very late in the sales process.  Less effective sales people cannot wait until they can start talking about what they can do.

Franchisors are impatient people.

And often, they will jump in too quickly and start talking about answers.  And the prospect listening to them doesn’t link that answer to their needs.  Because prospects have to start with their needs and move towards what fulfills their needs.   The prospect doesn’t want to start with the franchisor’s products and start to work backwards. 

Too many franchisors say: “We have this Great Thing, Do You Need it?”

And the answer the prospect often gives is: It is a Great Thing, But We don’t Need it”.


If you only sell one franchise because of attending this Lunch and Learn, it will be worth it.

Time: Tuesday, May 20th from 11:45 – 2pm

The Tower Club in Tysons Corner VA 

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – Round Table 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register