The Velocity Paradox for Franchise Opportunity Marketers.
To that special type of individual vetting franchise concepts, their decision-making process is understandably careful and deliberate.
The risk and costs, both opportunity and financial, associated with making the wrong decision, are sometimes perceived to be insurmountable.
Yet through primary research studies, prospects in the vetting process demonstrate one of their first and primary sources of information is 'Existing Franchisees' followed closely by 'Google/Internet searches' and 'Franchise company's website'.
The instantaneous, ubiquitous, light speed nature of where, how and what type of information is sought and presented poses a unique challenge for franchise marketers trying to make meaningful connections with viable prospect.
This in direct contrast to the amount of time prospects have been in the exploration process.
Reconciling the Fast/Slow Nature of Franchise Opportunity Vetting.
There are two things you can do in tandem to address this paradox.
1. Slow it down with information. The currency of franchising is information. The more the concept can speak to a prospect in they way they want to understand how it can work for what they're trying to accomplish, the shorter the vetting process.
Franchise opportunity information must go beyond the basics and top line information. Prospects tell us "it's not an opportunity in abstract. It's only an opportunity if we can understand it in relation to something. Like the perception of a viable market, the competitive climate, and how the model helps extract revenue locked in a customer base."
Lack of deep information is evident when you look at a lot of heavy site traffic and light lead flow.
2. Embrace the Digital Sequence. Prospects are going to use the information to find information. And they follow a predictable pattern when they do. Make sure you are considering the entire digital sequence, or path, a prospect will take as they consumer franchise information. See digital sequence chart below.
3. Give it Time. Your franchise concept may not be new. But it may be completely new to someone who just entered the near term franchisee market. Especially if you are targeting in areas beyond your service area where there is far less consumer brand awareness. As with anything new, it take time for prospects to get to know a concept, become familiar with it, gain enough information to feel confident in making contact. Again, the franchise vetting process is deliberate and cautious. With starting a new lead generating program, patience is a virtue!
The near term franchisee market has a behavior and rhythm all it's own. Typically franchise CEOs and CDOs expect to impacts on the franchise development pipeline as soon as possible. The more you understand this market, their behaviors and their wants and needs, and execute smart programs with persistence, the sooner you will see the results everyone is looking for.
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