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The Ultimate To-Do List for Selling Franchises

There are several keys to successfully scaling a franchise system.

By Katie Porter1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 11:11AM 10/28/22

When entrepreneurs start looking into franchising, they are met with a long list of avenues to take. With all the different industries and brand options out there, how do franchisors ensure their company stands out?

Selling a franchise is a high-level business transaction that takes high-level marketing and persuasive skills. There is no “one size fits all” for franchise owners, and subsequently, there are many ways to connect with potential leads and close the deal to add more franchise units into your system. 

Display the Brand Promise Clearly 

When investors shop around for franchises, they will do some of their own research and vet the company. Much like how brands need to have products clearly marketed for consumers, they also need to have the franchising journey clearly explained on the website and have a knowledgeable development team that can also convey that message in talks with leads. 

“Ensure that the brand promise is felt and seen on the franchise development website and that it’s emulated through the process and the sales channels,” said Michael Mabry, president of Famous Toastery. “Make sure that the franchise sales professionals are truly advocates of the brand, understand the brand and understand what type of individuals will work.”

Outsource Help for Development 

If you do not have the capital or adequate staff to have a full-fledged development team, consider outsourcing. Franchising opportunities do not sell themselves, so it’s imperative to have a sales staff that understands the nuances of franchises and knows how to market them. Brokers, consultants and franchise sales organizations can all assist with bringing in leads and closing deals.

“Talk to a franchise broker,” said Elias. “Our job is to find the right fit, and that’s true for both franchisees and franchisors. We introduce them to a whole world of franchises they wouldn’t have otherwise known about. So in a sense, we do the marketing for franchisors," Corey Elias, director of franchise development at Franchise Captaintold 1851.

Have Proof of the System’s Stability 

The proof is in the pudding. If a company does not have the documentation to back up its viability as a franchise, investors will be wary of continuing discussions. Brands need to have a system and processes in place that can be shown to interested parties both in real time and in writing. 

“Prospective franchisors need to create a system of procedures and operations that somebody else can follow. It may not be polished or totally complete, but they need to document how the business started, how it should be run, how it should be staffed and more,” explained Blair Nicol, vice chairman and principal of FranNet.

Spend Time Learning About the Leads 

The franchise development process is a matchmaking journey. Not only does the investor have to feel like the brand is a good fit for them, but the company also needs to make sure that the interested party can be a successful franchisee within their system. 

“Don't be afraid to get people to know these people. You are interviewing them to see if there is potential there for your business, so ask plenty of questions. Spend the time and energy really vetting them,” Mabry said.

Don’t Be Afraid to Face Rejection

Not every person who fills out an inquiry will end up signing a franchise agreement. Most brands go through dozens of leads before ending up with one closed deal. That’s par for the course and shouldn’t be off-putting for the development team.  

And most importantly, Mabry said, is to “never try to turn a maybe into a yes.” Brands should never try to convince a lead of anything; they should simply offer the information to them. Attempting to persuade someone who isn’t 100% committed could lead to issues later on down the line. Wait for the resounding “yes” from a franchisee who is wholeheartedly excited about the prospect.