What is going on with Franchise practices today? Something’s gotta give or change? Franchise practices are constantly changing while Franchisors are not.
Here is some further information on what the recent studies have shown on this topic:
This year’s survey of 101 franchisors, representing 34,509 units, (31,047 franchised units and 3,462 company-owned units) is an annual conference extra for franchise brands that pre-register. A team of franchising specialists posed as qualified candidates to “shop” franchisors by phone and online. The secret shoppers evaluated lead generation and recruiting practices for ease of access, response time, and follow-up.The phone survey revealed some dismal findings:
- a paltry 3 percent of sales staff were available to respond to the mystery shoppers’ first telephone call, down from 22 percent the previous year;
- 72 percent of calls resulted in messages on voicemail or with a receptionist;
- 32 percent of sales staff never returned the call; and
- 11 percent had a wrong phone number or no phone number on their site.
Online performance didn’t fare much better, despite the fact that a brand’s website is the most crucial tool in a franchisor’s development arsenal. While 23 percent of franchisors responded to a website inquiry within a day, more than half (52 percent) did not follow up with the qualified prospect. Additionally, 22 percent failed to email the prospect, and 15 percent did not email or call. Researchers also found that many franchisors are not equipped to handle the sales leads they generate.
This poor response rate is costly to franchisors, says Olson. “The average cost per lead is $55 across all industries, so you are basically burning $55 every time you don’t respond to a qualified lead.”
There is some good news. Mystery shoppers reported that franchisors who did engage with candidates are savvier at closing the deal, says Tom Wood, president of Floor Coverings International, and who also served as Conference Chair. “Closing rates are climbing,” he says. “Franchisors are becoming better and smarter at engaging well with candidates.”
This article goes into detail of what to expect and what actions should be taken when dealing with franchise prospects.
What was your experience when first getting into a franchise?