Are you leading me on?

Lead generation is one of the most important factors in the success of a franchise. Over the past few years we have seen a major change to the technique of gaining leads and in this article Jamie Brown will be explaining those changes and how you can improve your chances of gaining an authentic lead.

Lead generation is the marketing process of motivating and capturing an interested party into an opportunity or product. In the case of our industry, franchising, the purpose of lead generation is to gain the interest of potential franchise owners to the franchisor’s business and model.

Lead generation has seen major changes over the last few years. Specifically, the amount of information that can be found instantly online has seen a rise in ‘self-directed buyers’. Today, purchasers can do their own investigation online and can find a mixture of educational resources through search engines, social media, and other online avenues. Through content resources, today’s buyer can learn a great deal about a product or service before ever having to even speak to a sales person. So businesses must make sure that they build their digital presence. This, however, is not always a good thing, as the leads are often not focused, lacking any potential to take it any further than an enquiry.

There are important things to remember if you want to avoid a poor lead generation return:

Not having the appropriate strategy to lead generation:

Whether you’re a small business or a large national national corporation you should always have a plan for lead generation. In other words, you may have a recognised brand, but if potential owners don’t know your recruiting then you will never expand.

A lot of leads but not the right ones:

There will be hundreds of people out there who will want to be part of your brand, but do not qualify for whatever reason i.e. lack of funding, lack of experience and characteristics. The first thing you must do in this process is to make a list of your ideal franchise owners’ attributes.

Not using multiple avenues:

Different demographics can be found on a number of different platforms. Some people will still be looking for the right opportunity in print format, while others may only be actively searching via the Internet. If you only use one type of recruitment method there is a good chance you may miss out on a quality lead.

Not conveying the real message and value of your brand:

If someone is going to invest money into becoming part of your franchise, they are more than likely going to have a interest in your brand or what you offer your clients. You should be sure that your message and the value of your opportunity, no matter what the format, is correct.

It is a different market today, a new economy; the trust is vital to all potential franchise owners. Franchise candidates will choose when and how they want to contact a franchisor and this will be based on the information they have found themselves. This will only happen when they feel they have the sufficient evidence of what the franchisor has to offer. The changes we have seen means that everyone has to change the way they approach lead generation, out with the old ways of selling opportunities and in with the new organic, factual based information that can be verified by a number of avenues.

It’s time for franchisors to accept that franchise owner candidates already know the difference between authenticity and untrustworthy sales tactics, and if they don’t, they will research enough until they do. They want honest advice about who the franchisor’s customers are and why they choose to shop at their business. They wish to learn how the business works and what it takes to be a success before they even talk to a franchise sales representative.