How to Initiate Conversations With Prospects and Achieve Better Results
May 10, 2023 – Research shows that only a fraction of franchise prospects are likely to return your call before receiving an introductory email from you. In an April 2023 survey, only 12.9% of respondents are “very likely,” and another 22.6% say they are “likely” to take a cold call. The traditional “call first” approach will likely lead to your frustration with at least a third of franchise leads, and reduce the chances of more productive conversations with informed prospects.
“Emailing first” and providing links to additional information were the top two suggestions offered in a recent analysis of prospect suggestions for improving the sales process from their perspectives.
Recall from earlier studies that the vast majority (71%) of franchise inquiries are made outside of business hours. Prospects most likely want to set up a more convenient time, or acquire some more general knowledge about your franchise before calling you or taking your call.
Data Confirm that an Introductory Email Will Improve Phone Contact Rates
In our April survey of franchise prospects, 48.4% 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 16.1% are “unsure” about whether or not they would take your call..
In another recent survey, 75% of persons inquiring about franchises are then visiting the franchisor’s website. Of those who visited the frandev website after submitting an inquiry at a portal, over 56% of them indicated that they were “very interested and just wanted to learn more” before conversations ensue. Another 28.4% wanted to prepare before having a conversation. Sending an introductory email with links to more information will build on those positive prospect behaviors.
Further, Apple launched a “Silence Unknown Callers” feature in 2019 with the launch of iOS 13, but starting with the April 2021 release of iOS 14.5, more 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.”
Once the prospect puts you into “Contacts” or places an outbound call to you, your calls will ring through.
Best Practice: Send an email immediately to make initial contact, and suggest they ring you back.
Example wording to include in your initial contact email: “The caller ID will not indicate [name of your franchise], so we suggest adding our number [your number in format XXX-XXX-XXXX] to your phone contacts”.
The “mystery shopping” survey of franchise inquirers is conducted monthly on the FranchiseVentures lead generation platform. This survey was conducted April 13-20, 2023.
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 Tuesday, May 9th, 2023.