Prospects Give Feedback on Improving the Franchise Sales Process
By: Michael Alston for Franchise Insights
March 15, 2023 – Aspiring business owners talking with franchise sales teams were largely satisfied with their experience, according to recent mystery shopping surveys over the last six months ending in February 2023. Almost half (48.7%) said they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied”, and only 12.4% said they were “unsatisfied” or “very unsatisfied.”
The negative responses, and the other 38.9% who were neither satisfied or dissatisfied beg the question – how could the experience be improved?
An analysis and categorization of six months of suggestions on that question yielded not-so-surprising action items if you have been following the Mystery Shopping survey and franchise lead generation best practices from FranchiseInsights.com.
Almost 13% specifically mentioned emailing with info before calling as the one thing that could be improved. This is consistent with data confirming that over 61% of prospects are either unlikely or very unlikely to take your call before receiving information from you, exacerbated by Apple’s feature that blocks unknown callers.
“Franchisors should provide information about their franchise in a document or email before calling and asking us to provide information” says one prospect.
This practice will also help to address the second suggestion of putting more information into the short description found in ads and on directory sites, mentioned by 8.1% of respondents. Since it is not practical or possible to pack everything into a short description, the follow-up email with info will help to bridge the gap.
“Short emails and video clips from [a specific franchise mentioned] were great. They didn’t overwhelm me with a lot of information. Great best practice.”
Over 8% mentioned timely follow up. While it is hard to explain, surveys regularly show that a significant number of inquiries receive no follow up within seven days. In a recent survey, only 42.2% of respondents had contact attempts from each of the franchises they inquired about.
About 6.5% of respondents felt like the full extent of the financial requirements weren’t disclosed early enough, resulting in time wasted pursuing an option they could not afford.
About 9.6% were unhappy with perceived pressure in the sales process, with half of those (4.8%) suggesting that representatives not push so hard in the early stages of the conversation, and another half complaining about being called repeatedly after saying “no” to the opportunity.
Another 4.8% were hoping to hear about assistance with funding, and did not.
The next three response categories by percentage were prospect-related, with just over 3% wanting time to review the information before getting a call, and 4.8% wanting more patience with their learning curve as they got to know the franchise concept. Another 4.8% basically said “it’s me, not you” –there was nothing wrong with the sales process, it was factors on the prospect’s own side that would have improved the experience (e.g less job or family distractions).
The following three categories — adding up to 9.6% – include suggestions to ask the prospects for their follow-up time and channel preferences, to not text – and conversely – to use more texts and emails instead of phone calls. In summary, these are all related to reaching prospects at the time and in the channel they prefer. This group of suggestions, combined with the previous 12.9% “email with info before calling” means that 22.5% of the improvement opportunities are easily addressed by well-known best practices for initial contact, well in the purview of franchise sales teams.
At least 22.5% of the suggestions were related to initial contact in the prospect’s preferred channel and time window.
Just over three percent wanted more detailed financial information about the franchise than was provided.
Finally, 3.2% said they just needed more time to review the information provided before the call.
Note that “N/A” responses were interpreted as neutral (neither bad nor good), and not included in this analysis.
The Franchise Insights monthly “Mystery Shopping” survey collects responses from individuals who have recently inquired about businesses or franchises for sale on the digital assets 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 Tuesday, March 14th, 2023.