A Best Practice For Better Contact Results With Franchise Prospects

By: Michael Alston for Franchise Insights

April 24, 2024 – Franchise prospects consistently indicate a preferred sequence for being contacted after requesting more information – email, text, then a phone call. 

But it’s about more than just the preferred sequencing – research shows that only a fraction of franchise prospects are likely to return your call before receiving an introductory email from you. 

Half of prospects are either unlikely or very unlikely to accept a phone call from a franchise representative with whom they have not first exchanged an email or text.

In four months of survey data from January to April 2024, only 14.4% of respondents are “very likely,” and another 15.4% say they are “likely” to take a cold call from you. The traditional “call first” approach will likely lead to your frustration with about one third of franchise leads, and reduce the chances of more productive conversations with informed prospects.

In this same sample of franchise prospects, 50% are either unlikely or very unlikely to accept a phone call from a franchise with which they have not first exchanged an email or text. Another 20.2% are “unsure” about whether or not they would take your call.. 

“Emailing first” and providing links to additional information were the top two suggestions offered in analysis of prospect suggestions for improving the sales process from the prospect perspective. 

Recall from our earlier studies that the vast majority (71%) of franchise inquiries are made outside of business hours. Prospects want to acquire some more general knowledge  about your franchise and set up a mutually-convenient time before calling you or taking your call. 

In recent surveys, about two thirds of persons inquiring about franchises are then proceeding to visit the franchisor’s website. Of those who visited the frandev website after submitting an inquiry at a portal, over half indicated that they were “very interested and just wanted to learn more” before conversations ensue. Another 31.5% wanted to prepare before having a conversation. Sending an introductory email with links to more information will help build on those positive prospect behaviors.

Further, Apple launched a “Silence Unknown Callers” feature with aggressive prompts to set up the feature appeared when viewing the “recent” call list. This development means that many consumers are not going to hear important calls from their banks or requested responses from franchise sales professionals — or even calls from a friend or family member — unless they are already in “Contacts.” Notice that “unknown” and “unwanted” are used interchangeably in the prompt and in “Settings.”

Our summary of franchise development best practices for phone contact includes more background, and suggested content for inclusion in the initial email.

Best Practice: Send an email immediately to make initial contact, and suggest they ring you back.

The “mystery shopping” survey of franchise inquirers is conducted monthly on the FranchiseVentures lead generation platform. This survey data was collected January through April 2024.

FranchiseVentures is the leading franchise lead-generation platform for potential franchisees to thousands of growing franchise systems in the United States and Canada. Its franchise lead generation brands include Franchise.com, Franchise Solutions, Franchise Gator, Franchise Opportunities, Franchise For Sale, SmallBusinessStartup.com and BusinessBroker.net, and together they provide the largest aggregation of prospective franchise buyers in the U.S.

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Published on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024.

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