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FranX | Stop Judging Cold Leads as Dead

Plus, Nick and Charles talk with a franchisor about questions they would recommend the franchise buyer asks during a discovery day.

By Nick Powills1851 Franchise Publisher
Updated 3:15PM 01/21/22

The Next McDonald's (Big Idea)

Mapping the Candidate Journey on Your Website


In this week's Bottom Thoughts, there are great tips about engaging, re-engaging, and monetizing cold leads. But before you get there, before you focus on your cold leads…let’s do some reverse engineering and focus on the web journey of your franchise leads.

Do you know:

  1. The average amount of time that candidates spend on your website?
  2. The top geographic locations that they visit your website from?
  3. The web pages they spend the most time on?
  4. The videos they watch?
  5. The buttons they click?
  6. The percentage of web visitors that convert to a contact?
  7. The sources of traffic to your website and the quality they bring?

Your website is your most important digital asset and must reflect the magnitude of the decision that you are asking franchisee candidates to make - to trust that an investment in your franchise system will transform their lives for the better. Trust takes time and if visitors are bouncing off your website, then you're missing important opportunities.

Can you envision a website that reflects your candidate journey, that answers their questions, that offers an honest counter narrative, that immerses them in franchisee success stories, that shares brand culture, and that allows them to discover what it feels like to join your team!

Does your website do that? If not, your bucket is leaking.

News You Can (Actually) Use

Killer Brands


Scoop Soldiers is a pet waste removal franchise opportunity. With a clear "mission-driven" and "dog-loving" vision, the team at Scoop Soldiers have streamlined their Why Us / Why Now franchise website with information about who their ideal franchisee is and what it takes to be successful. The Scoop Soldiers FDD is backed up with a strong item 19, multiple company owned outlets, and unit level economics that demonstrate this low start-up cost franchise as a great investment!

Franchisees Kicking Ass: The Franchisee Is King

The Great Franchisee: Jake Weigel, Detail Garage, Nashville

Jake Weigel doubled his annual revenue in 2021 and was one of the car retail franchise’s first owners to exceed $1 million in sales. Now, he’s introducing the brand to Nashville.

Last year, Detail Garage franchisee Jake Weigel saw his revenue double with the fast-growing car retail brand, which has recently grown to more than 70 locations across the country. By the end of 2021, Weigel was one of the brand’s first franchisees to surpass $1 million in sales for the year. Now, after moving from California to Tennessee with his wife, Weigel is hoping to replicate last year’s success with a new Detail Garage location in Nashville — the city’s first.

1851 Franchise: Tell us your story – what did you do before franchising?

Jake Wiegel: I was born and raised in California. Early on in my career, I was hired by San Bernardino County as a probation officer, and I worked in that role for 15 years before becoming a Sheriff’s Deputy. I was, unfortunately, injured on the job, and while I was in the process of retiring from being a deputy, I rediscovered my passion for cars.

Yo Broker, Sell My Franchise

Why I Franchised My Business: Layne’s Chicken Fingers*

CEO Garrett Reed spoke with 1851 Franchise to discuss the history of the brand, his experience with franchising and why he fell in love with the industry.

Founded in 1994 in College Station, Texas, Layne’s Chicken Fingers* is known for its friendly service, iconic chicken fingers and secret sauce. The brand’s successful cult following began at its original location near Texas A&M University and has since grown from a tiny campus phenomenon to a Lone Star State icon, providing good times and delicious food at eight locations in Texas, including three in College Station, four in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and one in Houston. The brand also recently announced it will be bringing six new locations to Dallas-Fort Worth by spring of 2022.

1851: How did the idea of franchising come about?

Garrett Reed: In the beginning, the brand was completely “unfranchiseable.” When it was purchased in 2017, it was the ultimate mom-and-pop business — a cult following, high T-shirt sales, no real operations structure. It was super successful, but there was no way to franchise, as there was no repeatable business model to sell. We spent an entire year developing policies and procedures following the purchase and went about it very systematically. From there, we decided we needed to stress-test the concept. We went to Dallas and opened up three units in six months, which was unheard of. The whole idea was that we were going to open up three units, wait three years, and adapt to any challenges and issues that came up along the way. We are now ahead of schedule and just opened our fourth unit corporately. We didn’t start franchising until 24 months ago, once we proved to ourselves that we could. Once we had it all down to a science — that is when we started to franchise.

The Bottom Thoughts

It isn’t abnormal to dismiss an unresponsive candidate as cold. Why? Simply put, they are not responsive, thus, cold seems to make sense. But, are they dead? That is a very important lead generation question.

Perhaps they are just not ready to talk. Perhaps your form was too simple and didn’t ask if they were just looking for more information or ready to have a call. Perhaps they are dead for your brand because they are not in a developing market or they don’t have the capital to win. Point is, there are many different reasons someone goes cold, but perhaps are not dead.

A few suggestions:

  1. Evaluate email 1. Do you clarify what they want as a next step?
  2. Don’t hammer them with branded emails. You are not selling a pack of gum – you are selling a life change.
  3. Do you introduce people to your process? Meaning, are you giving them look-a-like stories for them to engage in on their own?
  4. Are you looking at other indicators – such as opens, or, better yet, are you offering them an alternative to a phone call, like a webinar? And, are you looking at opens and sign-ups as indicators that they are still warm?

Point is, you may be able to find some awesome value by turning over your old leads. Why? They already decided (most likely) that franchising was interesting. And, that is half the battle. Now, give them alternative ways to stay engaged in the idea of owning a franchise.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.