There is this old phrase that goes something like this:
See it and I’ll believe it.
Essentially the phrase is making the point that I won’t believe anything unless I see it with my own eyes and I can confirm it’s happened.
All well and good…
Except in franchising.
In franchising the exact opposite is true and franchisors have to convince new franchisees that the following is actually true:
Believe it and you’ll see it.
It’s absolutely true.
I was running a course a few weeks back for a franchisor. I was training franchisees on the best ways to market their business locally and I was doing some stuff on networking, especially breakfast groups.
Bare in mind, if you will, that the franchisor has statistical evidence that networking works for its franchisees to the tune of generating income of about £14k a year… each.
As I looked around the room I saw one man with his arms folded so tightly his hands were going blue and his head lowered so low that he was literally looking at me through his eyebrows.
When I asked him why he was metamorphosing into a gorilla he simply said to me: ‘I’m sceptical… I’ll believe it when I see it!’
Now there are a couple of things about this scepticism: firstly, why would anyone buy into a franchise and then set about arguing with the franchisor? I just don’t get it!
Secondly, the guy was always going to be proved right, whatever he did. If he didn’t go to the suggested networking events he wasn’t going to get any clients and it would probably be the franchisor’s fault for not being forceful enough with him. If he did go I would bet my house on it (well, that might not actually be true, but I would bet your house) that he wouldn’t get any clients either.
Because he’d be all sceptical, fold his arms, glower at people and no-one would refer to him because he was such a bad tempered git…
He’d be proved right after all and the franchisor should have known that.
But, if he was a rational human being, things would be the other way round. He’d say to himself: the franchisor says I’ll get business from doing this and it’s not logical they would tell me to do stuff that didn’t work, so I’m going to go and I expect to get clients…
Low and behold – he gets clients.
He believed it, so he saw it!