by Nick Strong, MD of www.SelectYourFranchise.com

Like in any sales cycle the franchise sales manager needs to understand the process of managing the buyer and the psychology of buyer. All franchise buyers are driven by aspiration and need. The balance will often be determined by the economy. In times of high employment and job stability buyer enquiries normally deliver high aspiration individuals. In times of economic uncertainty forced unemployment and redundancy often provides buyers who have find a new we carrier.

In both cases the buyer is motivated and looking for a better way forward for their working lives. This is especially so during times of a slowing economy. At such times hard working and productive people can loose their jobs though no fault of their own. When redundancy strikes the once loyal employee can move towards a future where their fait is in their own hands. Franchising offers just that opportunity.

When a buyer first approaches a franchise business he is usually looking for reasons to buy and move forward. The closer the buyer moves to the ‘close’ the more he will look for reasons not to buy. This is normal psychology. The cost and commitment required by the franchisee is huge. A franchisee may have to put his house on the line to buy the franchise so belief in the franchisor and their business system must be absolute.

This means that the franchise sales manager must treat the buyer with great dignity and respect. The sales manager must providing the buyer with clear information and support during the buying process. This will inform the buyer just how he expects to be supported should he become a trading franchisee. A good business system alone is not enough. The franchisee is a ‘disciple of the brand’ he invests his time, money and effort into. He must trust the franchisor and identify strongly with the system’s products, services and values.

The most important attributes in any successful franchisee are:
Enthusiasm
Hard working
Follower of the proven system

It is vital therefore that during the recruitment process the franchise sales manager has a clear path for the buyer to follow. The reason for this is to demonstrate that the buyer can follow a system effectively. Early failure or disagreements on behalf of the buyer should set alarm bells ringing for the franchise sales manager.

Selling a franchise is not like selling a product. It is more like the process that leads to a long term contractual commitment such as marriage. Both sides better make sure that they can and want to work together as separation after contract can be messy, time consuming and expensive.

When franchise sales is done well both seller and buyer can do very well. Franchise business added £13 billion to the UK’s GDP according the the Nat West BFA franchise survey of 2008. Franchise business grew five times that of the UK economy during the same period according to the report. This all happened because motivated franchisees followed the franchisors well developed business models enthusiastically and effectively.

Franchise business works for the franchisor, franchisee and their customers when they all believe in the system and in each other.