Franchise Daypart Data Helps Unravel the Mystery Behind “Low” Contact Rates

Ask any franchise development team what the No.1 franchisee recruitment challenge is, and chances are you’ll hear “contact rate” mentioned. The percentage of franchise inquiries with a successful return phone call is consistently lower than targets in industry Mystery Shopping surveys.

 This is even more astounding when you realize that the vast majority of prospects contact franchises through Internet resources on a smartphone – prospects actually have a phone in their hands at the time they are most interested.

Now, with back-to-back years of analyzing the largest collection of franchise leads available, the Franchise Ventures group has confirmed that a large part of the problem may be mismatched schedules. 

Simply, the data suggests that more than two thirds of prospects are in shopping mode while franchisors are in off-hours mode.

  • Overall, 67% of new-investment prospects are researching franchises and initiating contact during nights and weekends – outside of typical business hours when many development teams are at work.  
  • So if you’re receiving 10 leads a day, the odds are that only 3 are generated during business hours – and it might not be convenient for the prospect to talk when called.
  • The mismatch is greater on the West Coast, due to time zone differences – 71% of those inquiries occur “after hours.” 

The daypart analysis draws on a pool of prospects that Franchise Ventures delivered to thousands of franchisors in the United States and Canada over the past two years, with data from dozens of websites and apps, including Franchise.com, FranchiseGator.com, FranchiseOpportunities.com, FranchiseForSale.com, FranchiseSolutions.comBusinessBroker.net

“This is a classic case of ships passing in the night,” said Michael Alston, president of Franchise Ventures. “And it’s amazing how consistent this pattern is. We analyzed every single inquiry sent through our businesses for two entire years, and comparing those years we found very little variance.” 

Understanding these patterns suggests some simple steps that every franchise sales team can use to improve their contact rate, he said:

  • Shift your team’s coverage to match prospect activity, and don’t hesitate to respond quickly during reasonable hours. Chances are the prospect inquired from a mobile phone and is available now. 
  • Pay attention to the prospect’s location. Be willing to call outside YOUR business business hours when it matches the PROSPECT’s time zone.
  • Pay attention to WHEN the lead arrived. If you’re calling several hours later than an overnight inquiry, be prepared to leave a short message pointing out time zone differences and asking when it’s convenient to re-connect.
  • Use a combination of phone, text and email messaging to find out the best contact method for each prospect. Depending upon personality, age, income, and business sophistication, different methods will be effective for different people.

Update –  Feb. 7, 2020:  Franchise Ventures released a new tool to help franchise development teams improve early engagement  with prospective franchisees. The Franchise Insights mobile app makes it easier to quickly respond to new prospects, anytime and anywhere, and helps unify each prospect conversation across phone, email and text.

Learn more about the Franchise Insights development app here

Come see the app in action at booths 317, 803 and 2232 at IFA 2020!

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 Thursday, October 10th, 2019.

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