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Nick Powills: Timing Could Change Your Approach to Lead Qualifications

Work smarter, not harder, when reaching out to prospective leads.

By Nick Powills1851 Franchise Publisher
Updated 11:11AM 10/04/19

You have heard it once, twice and a hundred times—“those leads are garbage, they never return calls”.


But, what if that’s not the case?

What if they have a job? Think they will answer their call at work and entertain a new business opportunity? Think again. Also, don’t dismiss them as dead leads. We have started putting a time (or Calendly) on the form to connect. This way, the prospect remains in charge. 

That’s tip one, here’s some other thoughts.

A few things: 

  1. Are you, on your form, giving the prospect more control of the process? Are you asking them how they want to receive information, if they are ready for the call, and when to call them?
  2. Are you asking them when they want to buy? Think about buying a car. Do you tell all the salespeople of all of the car dealerships to hound you with calls because you want to be “sold” a car? Probably not. Yes, you want a good deal, but you want to be in control of your decision.
  3. Buying a franchise is freakin’ hard. You are asking someone to take their life’s savings and invest it in your brand. Crazy, right? Right. So, you need to treat them as a coach.
  4. All franchise brands focus on the bottom of the funnel. How many leads, how many applications, and how many deals did I get? Bottom of the funnel is 1% of the process. What are you doing to give the candidate—you know, the one who will make a drastic life decision—research information?
  5. Not all prospects are created equal—thus, you shouldn’t treat them that way. Those with money, who want a call, should be treated one way. Those without money, who are not ready to buy, should be treated another way. Those who are kind of qualified and maybe ready to buy should be treated another way, too. Understand that different personas deserve a different type of glove.
  6. How many people who have bought your franchise have a job? When you, Mr. or Ms. Salesperson, take a call from a recruiter for a job—do you do it in the open? Of course not. Chances are you do it on a lunch break, during your morning or night drive, or on a weekend. So, why are you calling candidates during the day? Of course they won’t answer their phones.

Want to win at franchise sales? Here’s what I suggest in the simplest of ways:

  1. Create a killer website. If you are selling a franchise that costs anything more than $100,000, give prospects a site that feels like that. Drives me crazy when zors under-spend on their sites. This is your first impression—impress!
  2. Make sure you have research-based content out there—away from your site. Of course the buyer will expect you to say wonderful things about your brand. Put the content in other areas—including your social sites.
  3. Digital is the smartest form of advertising. If you spend $$$ on print, come with realistic expectations. Those are awareness campaigns. Digital campaigns are $$$ spent in the markets you want to grow in.
  4. Don’t market in markets where validation is low. If I was looking at your brand, the first thing I would do is call a franchisee close to me. If they don’t validate, think I am going to buy?
  5. Respond. Don’t be slow. Act like you care. I was sitting in a CEO summit where the conference said they would secret shop the 15 or so CEOs in the room. Five of their brands didn’t answer the lead. What? Then why are you wasting your time at a CEO summit? Go fire your team for being dumb.

Again, franchising is hard. Period. Be smart about your footprint and you will have a chance at winning.