Qualified, Capable, Ready to Buy: Those Are the Franchise Leads I Want
Qualified, Capable, Ready to Buy: Those Are the Franchise Leads I Want

What are the makings of a successful franchise lead?

We live in a world where busy equals productive. Not in my world. In my world, efficient equals productive.
I was recently talking with Brett Larrabee about leads and how enough will never exist. Franchisors live and breathe leads. You can tell them it will only take 10 leads to close 10 deals, but many won’t believe you (even if it’s simple math).

Efficiency continues to be a term used in the work place – franchise or not. If we are going to become more efficient in franchise sales, then we must desire something different and more powerful. We don’t just want names, we want people who are actually interested in buying our brands.

Finding qualified leads is tough. Add in “capable” and the number decreases. Then throw in “ready to buy” and you see where haystacks earned their popularity with needles.

While franchise lead generation is tough, franchise lead generation marketing is even tougher.

I once had a client say he was more than happy to spend $100,000 on lead generation tactics if I could guarantee him three times the return. Hell, I would gladly take that deal if it existed.

Even though nothing is guaranteed in life, we continue to hunt for the guarantee. We have been trained that in franchising, it takes 100 leads, 500 leads, 1,000 leads to close a deal. Yet, the reality is it simply takes one. So, if it just takes one, why do we chase so much? Why do we spend so much money going for quantity over quality? Because we are trained to. And it all goes back to us, as humans, fighting to win the popularity contests of high school.

To win the popularity contest of qualified, capable and ready-to-buy leads, you may have to throw away your gut and trust something innovative and disruptive instead (like 1851). You may have to go back to the whiteboard and start over. And that can be scary.

I think one of the biggest challenges in development is that we don’t know where to spend money. We spend on satellite radio. We spend in airline publications. We spend in trades. And we expect immediate return. But are ready-to-buy, capable and qualified leads that quick to act? I doubt it.

If you were going to sell to me (and no, I am not ready to buy), you should expect that I would do my homework. You should expect that I am going to ask a million questions before I even give you my name. You should expect my buying process to be at least 90 days from the first thought of buying your brand.

I don’t think we are too far off as a world to start seeing better leads. TV is starting to play with pay-for-performance and PPC has been quickly making its impact on franchise lead generation. When advertising shifts to being about me, I will soak up advertising again. We are on the verge of on-demand advertising. Not for the brand, but for the consumer.

For me, I want less leads and more of the right ones. I don’t want to chase. I don’t have the time and I want to be efficient. This, I believe, will be the case in the future for many franchise brands, especially as media consumption adapts.