Compelling reasons to… well, anything really

Franchising is all about processes.

Processes so that franchisees can deliver the product, run the business and implement a marketing plan. And, to be honest, most franchisors deliver these things to some degree.

But there’s one process that’s often missed and, if I’m honest, it’s one missing part to the process that makes things hard. I’m talking about the sales process – the marketing has worked and they’re in front of their potential customer.

We generally use a five step sales process in our sales training, depending on the product, franchise and general situation. It goes something like this:

Step One: Build Rapport – people buy people, so be nice
Step Two: Analysis – find out what they need
Step Three: The story – you get just a few minutes to make your sales pitch
Step Four: Price (vs Value) – make sure you give to them straight
Step Five: Ask for the business – otherwise you won’t get it

If I ask just about any franchisee which bit causes them most problems they generally say they’re okay with steps one, two, four (although there’s often a bit of a wobble here) and five.

It’s step three that’s the issue… how do you pitch the product or service to the particular needs presented by this particular customer.

The wrong way to do it is to dump out everything that’s known about what they do… and yet so many franchisees do just that; mostly, it has to be said, to reassure themselves. The other wrong way is to say something like ‘you should buy from us… ‘cos we’re great!’ Probably followed up with: ‘honest, guv.’

So what’s the professional way to do it?

It’s part of the franchisors job to make sure franchisees have all the tools they need to go out and develop a business – and that includes absolute clarity about why they (the franchise) are special.

We call this clarity the Compelling Reasons to use this franchise or that.

One key piece of work we carry out with every franchisor is to help them understand their compelling reasons… they might also be called the Unique Selling Proposition or USP; but as there is very little that’s truly unique we prefer to create a series of reasons that, when combined, can truly be called special.

We have a number of techniques to get to the compelling reasons, mostly involving the question: so what?

However we get there, we get the compelling reasons distilled into a few key concepts that capture the essence of a product, company or service. Then, if a franchisee completes step two of the process correctly (that’s analysis, if you can’t be bothered to look back to the top of the blog) and asks what’s important to a customer, they can pick and choose which of the compelling reasons fits that customer the best.

Here’s an example.

We have a customer whose has four compelling reasons:

• Trust
• Empathy
• Client Service
• Value for Money

Each one of these is underpinned with a series of short statements to clarify the meaning.

Let’s assume the potential customer says something like: ‘my last supplier is in prison because he nicked the money.’

Which compelling reason is going to be important? Trust is going to be key and, whilst worth a mention in passing. Empathy really isn’t going to turn this customer on.

Let’s try one more.

If the customer says: ‘you need to know my business to be able to give me what I want.’

The chances are it’s Empathy that’s important, so we’d train the franchisee to explain why they are so good at empathising… in their words, of course, so it sounds natural.

What are the compelling reasons for your customers to buy into your service?

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