Tell me what to say

Last week I wrote about a new franchisor who was worried…

I’m very pleased to report he’s a lot less worried now, which is great.  But he does have some other issues, which isn’t so wonderful.

It’s still about making a leap from being a deliverer of product or service to being a franchisor where your product is the franchise opportunity and the output just so happens to be the product you used to deliver.

Okay, to the new issue.

We’ve set up our training business to operate as a franchise if we had or wanted to.  Essentially that means we work to a set of processes that allow us to get from zero knowledge to (usually) knowing more about the franchisor’s business than they do.

(I know that sentence sounded incredibly big headed, but it is often true!)

Anyway, back to the story.  I said to the franchisor, in accordance with our Training Needs Analysis process, ‘I need to come and spend some time with key personnel, so I can understand your business better.’

At this, his face fell.  ‘Why do you need to spend so much time with us?  I thought this was all written!’

‘Yes it is… to a point, but our skill as trainers and facilitators is to understand your business and the things that already exist, systemise them and then turn them into a training programme.’

At this point I was warming to my subject and getting more fluent and passionate!  But the wind was about to be taken out of my sails once more.

‘So what sort of things will you want to know?’  Asked the franchisor.

‘Well,’ says I, ‘We need to know why people should use your business rather than one of your competitors.  We need to know why you are special.’

There was silence for a few seconds and a slowly arching eyebrow as this nugget of information was digested.

‘But surely that’s why I’m employing you… to tell me why I’m special!’

How can you argue with such logic?

So I tried a different tack.  ‘What do I get as a customer of one of your franchisees?’

‘Well, two things,’ came the immediate reply, ‘First of all the product is entirely intuitive, it really is unlike anything else on the market for ease of use.  Apart from that, you get the franchisee to hold your hand through the process where all our competitors are only on-line.’

Bingo… the fat lady was well and truly tuning up.

All I had to do was repeat what he said and the light bulb (for the second time in that meeting… see last week’s blog) came on.

‘Okay,’ he said.  ‘I see what you’ve done.  Is next week too soon?’

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