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Winning at Franchising: Franchisors Give Advice on How to Sell Franchises

To close a franchise deal, franchisors and franchise sales professionals need to ensure comfort in the prospective franchisee’s buying process.

By Katie Porter1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 10:10AM 11/18/22

There is plenty of interest in franchising, and thanks to some turbulence in the economy, buyers are starting to look at another option to the traditional 9-5 job. To win at franchising and attract the right buyer candidates to a franchise, franchisors need to do several things.

1851 Franchise spoke with two industry professionals to get their insight.

Get to Know the Goals of Franchisee Candidates 

To pick a great new owner to sign on as a franchisee, a franchisor needs to do a lot of listening in the beginning. This period, when a candidate explains their interests and motivations, can show who will be the best fit to build a business relationship with. 

John PalumboA&W Restaurants senior director of Franchise Development, says it’s best to avoid glorifying the franchise’s perks right off the bat, instead letting the person sell themselves to you.

“What we do at A&W is get a feel for the candidate's background, their aspirations, their goals professionally and personally. Really get to know them and why they want to get into one, a franchise model; two, food specifically; then three, A&W,” he explained.

“Don't start preaching to someone when you pick up the phone with them for the first time and talk about why your brand is so great and why they should be with your brand. It really is important to get to know the person and understand what their goals and objectives are, and then start building that relationship kind of backward.”

Ensure Your Franchise is Scalable

One of the main reasons people choose the franchising route when embarking on business ownership is the benefit of a prefabricated model, John “Johnny Franchise” Francis, who is a franchise coach and serves on five franchisor boards, pointed out. 

“Franchising has got some built-in advantages. It's less risky. Because if you're buying a franchise as a branch, chances are it's built on someone else's model that already works,” he said.

Franchises should offer new owners as much support and as many resources as possible. The more they know and can replicate the brand, the better shot they have at succeeding. A&W places an emphasis on this. 

“We have a ton of support from operations, field marketing training and real estate financing that are at the fingertips of all of our franchisees. It's not outsourced, and we're kind of in the weeds with our franchisees every step of the way. And that's super important. It's the reason you go to a franchisor, frankly,” Palumbo said.

Recognize That Support Is Not ‘One-Size-Fits-All’

Another point for franchisors to remember, both experts pointed out, is that each owner and location is different. What one franchisee needs to make money may not work for another, and an owner’s needs will change through the franchise’s phases of growth.

Support is typically used by franchisors to indicate a point of differentiation, yet, rarely do franchisors identify how their support model is different from franchise competitors.

“Listening at the beginning allows us to highlight certain areas that they need a little more assistance on versus just a shotgun approach to each candidate because everyone is very different,” Palumbo explained. 

Francis said he thinks the best thing a franchisor can give a franchisee is “appropriate levels of support and training based on where they are. Because what a guy needs in the first year is different from what a guy needs after five years. Support is not one-size-fits-all.”