Best Practices Update: Franchise Prospects Reveal Their Order Preferences for Initial Contact
June 15, 2022 – Most franchise prospects (45.8%) prefer to be emailed for the initial contact with a franchise they have chosen, according to the monthly “mystery shopping” survey by FranchiseInsights.com in June 2022.
Further, in all but two of the 29 monthly surveys by FranchiseInsights.com over the last three years, email was the clear preference for initial contact. In the remaining two instances, email and texts tied for “first preference.”
In June, 50% of respondents said receiving a text was the second most preferred choice for initial contact about a franchise they are interested in, consistent with most of the prior surveys.
Getting a phone call was least preferred as first contact in June, at 28.6%, though it was slightly higher than receiving a text at 25.7%. A clear 47.1% of respondents indicated that voice was their third choice. While there is some month-to-month variation in these results, an observation is that texting is gaining acceptance for initial contact in 2022, though the May and June results clearly run counter to that trend, which will be interesting to watch in future surveys.
While the survey does not glean “why” behind these trend changes, the drop in preference for initial contact by voice was dramatic in early 2020, as the pandemic unfolded.
Also in the June 2022 survey, 57.3% of respondents said they were “unlikely or very unlikely to accept a phone call from a franchise” if they had “not previously received a text message or email from that company with more information.” This is, however, a significant drop from 64% for that question seen as recently as October 2021.
Best Practices For Initial Contact
Email remains the most preferred and safest channel for initial contact, at 45.8% for the first choice and the second choice of 25.7% of respondents. The asynchronous nature of email makes it the most effective channel outside of business hours, and also on weekends and holidays. It is also a more rich medium for making your brief “elevator pitch” or conveying information such as video, links or a pdf brochure. Given the dominance of mobile phone use over landlines among business buyers, email is the best place to introduce yourself and begin to tell your story.
Moreover, Apple’s prompt to set up its “silence unknown callers” feature, introduced in the April 2021 iOS release, magnifies the importance of emailing an introduction first, so that the prospect knows to expect a call from you and will add you to contacts. Example wording to include in your initial contact email: “The caller ID will not indicate [name of franchise], so we suggest adding our number [your number in format XXX-XXX-XXXX] to your phone contacts”.
Summary: For leads that do not respond to an initial email, following up with a personalized text after noon (9 am on the West Coast) is a good practice.
The Franchise Insights “mystery shopping” survey is conducted monthly among aspiring business buyers inquiring about franchises at the brands of FranchiseVentures.
FranchiseVentures is the leading demand– and 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 Wednesday, June 15th, 2022.