Discovery days can really increase your lead conversion rates because they allow prospective franchisees to get a flavour of your business before they commit and give you a great opportunity to meet a group of serious prospects face-to-face, explains Helen Thresh, Client Account Manager at Coconut Creatives.

Organising a discovery day

You should always make sure that your discovery days are well planned and organised with no more than 10 serious franchise prospects attending. Here are four questions (and the answers!) we get asked by many franchisors in relation to discovery day organisation:

  1. Who should be involved?

Get key people from your business and recruitment team involved. Prospective franchisees want to put names to faces and it will also make your team appear more approachable, which can be a key factor in the decision-making process and franchisees often buy into the support of a proven business concept. It is a good idea to get successful franchisees involved, giving you the opportunity to create a template franchise which you could showcase as part of your discovery day.

  1. Should I have a dedicated space for the discovery day available?

If you don’t have a suitable conference or meeting room with adequate refreshment facilities available then it might be worthwhile booking a hotel or meeting room nearby. Ideally this should be within a short walk of your head office or the template franchise that you plan to show later on.

  1. What time should I start the discovery day?

It is advisable to start your discovery day in the late morning/early afternoon to give people time to get to you. Starting your discovery day in the afternoon means that it needs to be well structured to ensure everybody gets the most out of the day. It is also important to be mindful that some people may have travelled quite a distance to get to you so make sure that you don’t finish too late.

  1. Should I have my discovery day at the weekend or during the week?

Although having your discovery day on a weekday can be inconvenient because most people attending will need to book a day off work, this shows their level of interest in the franchise and will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Holding your discovery day on a weekday also allows you to showcase your office or the template franchise during actual working hours, which increases the credibility by highlighting that your business works.

Marketing your discovery days

Make sure you market your discovery day through as many channels as you can so that you get the most out of it. By advertising your discovery day, you are also giving prospects an additional reason to get in contact with you. Make sure you advertise a few months in advance to give prospects time to book.

During the day

Organise a “behind the scenes” tour, allow your prospects to speak to members of staff and look around within a supervised group. Encourage them to ask questions so they can find out as much as possible about your business, helping them to make the right franchise choice. Some franchisors insist on attendees signing a confidentiality agreement on arrival. This depends on your business model but it is something you might wish to consider. You should also have the franchise agreement ready and printed in case a prospect would like to have a look at it.

Post discovery day

Follow up on the individuals who have attended and select those you think would make good franchisees to progress to the next stage in your recruitment process. At the end of the day it’s not only about the prospects liking you but also about you liking the prospects. You can also utilise your successful discovery day within your press releases and on your website.

For further advice on how to organise successful Discovery Days, please contact us, we’d love to help you! Or join us on our ‘How to build an effective discovery day programme’ workshop! Click here to see when the next one is coming up on our events calendar.