How effective is validation when it comes to closing new sales of your franchise brand? If you don’t really know, we’re going to tell you during this week’s blog edition. Helpful hint? It’s very important. If you aren’t using an organized and well-thought out effort to secure franchise placements through word-of-mouth, we can suggest a few ideas that you may want to implement.
For some in this business, validation comes across as both a chore and a bore. Of the existing franchisees in your system, what is their reaction when you ask them to participate in the validation process? Do they groan, complain about the lack of time to participate or express a belief that validation isn’t quite worth the effort? If so, it is perhaps due to the fact that they don’t fully understand the importance of the activity.
So, why is validation an all-important step in the investigative process? Primarily because it’s a way to connect some of your best franchise owners on the line with your strongest prospects. The right validation program can go a very long way toward securing new franchisees.
Try, for a moment, to think about the validation process from the prospective franchisee’s standpoint. They’ve gone through the discovery process, found a good match (maybe several) for a small business of their own and perhaps even explored financing options. But they still may be unsure, nervous and guarded at this stage. They need a concrete reason to take that proverbial leap of faith to entrepreneurship. What better way to accomplish this than through a validation call or visit with a successful owner in your franchise brand? The prospective franchisee is actually looking for one thing and one thing only in the validation process—reassurance.
As a franchise brand, you should be directing the validation program and overseeing its implementation. If your existing franchisees don’t have a clear idea of what they should be talking about or what questions to ask, you should be providing them. After all, you know your franchise system better than anyone.
To minimize the intrusion on your existing franchisees, send out a directive that plainly states what your brand needs to accomplish through validation. Clichés such as, “…your participation makes us stronger together” won’t be enough. You need to survey your best franchise owners and secure their participation by appealing to the common pride invested in the brand. There are several ways of going about this, here are just a few:
- Provide tips on validating your brand and put it in writing.
- Ask them for appropriate time frames to participate.
- Provide the questions and the talking points.
- Set up the validation calls between your franchise owners and prospects.
- Follow up quickly with both sides after the validation call or visit and make a point to find out from each participant how you can make the process a better tool in your marketing arsenal.
What makes the validation process so vital to the sales cycle is that your prospective franchisees are getting a sneak peek at real ownership of your brand. If they sign on, the existing franchise owners who participated will be their peers. In a way, it’s like joining any new club or organization. If you’re a potential franchisee, you’re going to want to meet these people, converse with them, ask questions and formulate your own opinions of whether or not you see yourself as the brand’s next franchisee.
Having a well-defined validation program for your franchise brand is a critical component to securing additional franchisees into your system. If your current validation program is lacking or even needs refreshing, take some ownership and get to work. Your newest crop of prospective franchisees out there are counting on you.
The final key component to the validation process is having a solid grasp on which existing and potential franchisees best fit your business concept. Proven Match is the proven solution in determining those factors. Through our proven behavioral assessment techniques, predictive analysis becomes predictive success for your franchise concept. If you’re ready to show your leadership by getting started, give us a call and we’ll put you on the path to a more productive year in 2016.