It is amazing how easily a headline can create interest in what comes next. If you clicked on this column, and have made it to this word, you are in for the journey. All I had to do is hook you with a headline that was out there, yet, contained enough truth for you to continue on.
Let’s begin the high.
Franchise sales is full of highs and lows. In many cases, the highs are accompanied by one-time commissions and the lows are full of panics for more leads.
At some point in the history of franchise sales, this category of selling was connected to selling a simple widget. Expectations were set to widgets, processes were set to widgets and former widget salespeople were recruited to sell franchises.
Some aspects of “sales” – or the practice of selling a widget – are important for franchise sales. The belief and positivity of the salesperson are contagious. A salesperson that is so excited about the brand and the possibilities will have a positive impact on the sales process.
In some circles, franchise sales was rewritten as franchise awarding (a process and sale much more in line with what development pros are actually doing – changing lives). But, for the most part, sales were treated like sales because that’s what we call it.
But, on this high journey, we are not selling a widget – we are selling an extremely complicated life decision. Leaders of franchise brands should try to understand this concept and begin to understand that while the salesperson is the one who ultimately decides to smoke the franchise bong, they are not the one that grew, produced or sold the franchise-Jane. Those were other parts of the complicated franchise sales process that is easily forgotten.
A lead comes in. That lead responds to the initial call. That lead partakes in call one slide review. That lead submits an application. That lead validates. That lead researches. That lead attends discovery day. That lead decides to move forward. Franchise salesperson is given a bonus. CEO gives a high five. Franchise salesperson enjoys a toast. Franchise salesperson comes into work the next day. CEO asks about the next deal. Where is it and when is it coming in.
That’s the low.
Drugs, you see, have a lot of similarities. One second you are the best and perceive an amazing feeling, and the next you are sad and want more.
For salespeople, it’s certainly not about wanting more. They crave more. But far too often, all of the pressure of the process is placed on one single human versus a collective of everything. Those pressures create great lows because they feel beat down in a process where they can only control so much.
Sure, do they control the budget spend? Probably. But do they control the customer experience at the store level? The strength of operations in the delivery of experience? The validation? The unit-level-economics? The recruitment of the leadership?
No, they certainly do not.
But, they can control how they spend the $$$ to get the leads in. They can control (in most cases – unless the CEO is a control freak) the agencies/consultants they hire. They can work diligently to find the “why you” and “why now” within the framework of your brand. This, they can control. They can decide whether they franchise smoke or don’t.
Hustle, hustle, hustle, win, happiness, pressure, depression, sadness.
Can we change this? Can we make it so the high continues all the time?
Surely, we can. We, as leaders, should be fighting for the constant high. The high that never goes away. The high that is full of happiness. The high of greatness and great culture. When that happens, the salesperson remains positive. A salesperson who is positive will have a much better chance of selling.
Next business idea: franchise rehab.
I was going to start it, but then I got high.