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  • Writer's pictureMichael St. Jacques

Your one franchise lead generation program goal: Unmistakable Impact.

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

Professional athletes and their fans know when they're having an unmistakable impact on the game and season. As players and leagues adapt to today's new societal and market realities same goes with your organic franchise lead generation program. Adapting to market realities to continue to create an unmistakable impact on your pipeline and organization's performance as we near the start of 2021 becomes the highest priority. If it's not, or something shifted, now's the time to adjust your program to correct issues and move to the next level of performance.

Like athletes, effective franchise lead generation springs from mastering the fundamental engagement skills when interacting with the prospect market and setting up your digital engagement sequence. That includes understanding components and behaviors of the 'near-term franchisee' marketplace.

Understand the 'Near-Term Franchisee' Market.

With all the discussion about franchise personas, prospect demographics, ideal candidates, attributes of top-performing franchisees, the near-future franchisee market is probably the least understood aspect of franchising. Whether familiar with it or not, this is the market you'll be interacting with to source your next franchisees. Understanding its size, rhythm and suspending some common misperceptions goes a long way to help you understand your drop-in point and engagement strategy.

Read our blog post on the first-of-its-kind 'Near-Term Franchisee' market study.

Understand Macro Prospect Groups.

The 'Near-Term Franchisee' Market can roughly be divided into two Macro Groups. New-To Business and Business Experienced. Suspending specialized categories like Real Estate Franchisees, for example, which require specialized licensing and skills, these two groups may look similar but in actuality could not be more different.

At a macro level, the way these two groups approach franchise opportunity vetting can be described in one word.

– New to Business - Tentative

– Business Experienced - Velocity

This is important because deciding who you're targeting radically changes what and how you communicate. The foundation of program efficacy.

There are finer prospect categories based on the capital/business experience needs of your system as the following chart demonstrates, but regardless, the near-term franchisee originates from these two macro groups.

Your One Franchise Lead Generation Program Goal : Unmistakable Impact : WorkWave Agency
Ultimately new franchisee targeting follows the needs of your system. ©2019 WorkWave, LLC.

Understand your prospects' vetting process.

Understanding the Near-Term Franchise market is the context for how potential new Franchisees make decisions. How they go about the vetting process is the next step. Look at the individual segments as 'gates' where a prospect won't get to the next gate if they don't get past the prior.

Your One Franchise Lead Generation Program Goal : Unmistakable Impact : WorkWave Agency
Franchisees follow a distinct vetting process. ©2019 WorkWave, LLC.

This model allows you to: 1). understand what you should be communicating, when and 2). diagnose where prospects may be disengaging.

Understand what you should be communicating. And what you shouldn't.

Misunderstanding of what the concept actually is, as distinct from 'what it sells' is a core franchise opportunity communication disconnect. Using the macro near-term franchisee groups and vetting gates, you can begin to imagine the type of conversation you would be having with a prospect based on 1). the familiarity of 'a market' (i.e. hair care or restaurant vs 'robot froyo') and 2). the business experience of the franchisee prospect.

Keep in mind, business ownership is a solution to a problem. Franchising, as one path to business ownership, MAY BE, but not necessarily is a solution for business ownership from the prospects standpoint.

Understand the Digital Ecosystem and Your Digital Sequence.

If the prospect operates within the digital universe, your digital sequence within this ecosystem is the process leading the prospect in from the wilderness.

Your One Franchise Lead Generation Program Goal : Unmistakable Impact : WorkWave Agency
You digital sequence provides order from the digital ecosystem. ©2019 WorkWave, LLC.

This is where technical understanding of the digital ecosystem is critical. The ecosystem is easy to venture into...and easier to get lost. The challenge in mastering your digital sequence for lead generation within this ecosystem is that it is a multi-disciplinary process, requiring non-linear problem-solving. Referencing the chart above, there is a rough flow and interrelation between the domains. How your sequence is established to provide focus, and clarity for your prospects is the goal.

Understand the competitive alternatives.

At the category and certainly the brand level, franchise marketing is always a buyers market. Prospects are spoiled for choice, and while we may want to think they are overwhelmed it's more like there's a lot of top-line 'scanning' to see if something 'jumps out'.

Making a strong case for a category and how your system accesses the revenue potential of that category in a unique way, starts to clear the fog and provides a comparative decision-making framework.

Understand it is possible.

An effective franchise lead generation program starts with understanding these domains. If developing a steady stream of qualified, organic franchise prospects is a strategic imperative for your system, it may require you look at the process a little differently.

Interested bringing your franchise lead generation results to a new level? Learn more about WorkWave Agency's approach.

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