Not following the model

It always seems strange to me that someone would invest the thick end of £40,000 for the privilege of joining a franchise network and then not following the model.

That’s like employing an expert because you don’t have the skills needed to do something and then arguing with them.

The thing is, it’s not an uncommon situation.

Several years ago I trained a guy in sales, teaching him the process laid down by the franchisor.  I know the process was a good one that really worked, ‘cos I designed it.

Was that a bit big headed?  Sorry if it was.

I met the guy again 6 months into his franchise at another training course to review progress.

We went around the table asking franchisees to review their position and (to a greater or lesser degree) they were all positive, except for this guy.  Here’s what he said…

Him: Well I’ve only got 12 clients.

(Usually we would expect a franchisee of this particular business to have between 40 and 60 clients.)

Me: Are you following the sales model?  Asks I.

Him: No, I didn’t like it.  I felt very uncomfortable with it.  It just didn’t work for me.

At this point I blinked a little wondering how to deal with this particular situation… and then a thought struck me, a bit like a large boulder hurtling down a steep hillside.

Me: Did you ever use the sales model?

Him: Oh, yes!  I really tried hard with it for the first couple of months.  But I just didn’t like it and it felt very hard to follow.

(You can probably see where I’m going with this.)

Me: How many clients did you sign up whilst you were using the proper process?

Him: About 10.  Yes, I think it was 10 clients in the first 2 months.

Me: And since you stopped using the process four months ago?

Him: 2

Me: 2?

Him: Yes, 2. But the important thing is, Richard (here he placed heavy emphasis on my name, I guess to illustrate the point) that I feel very much more comfortable

Me: Errr… surely the important thing is you’ve got 12 clients and should have 60?

Him: Oh, you just don’t understand

At this point I thought there was a fair danger that the conversation would decline a little bit so I left the field of battle for another day.

Actually, the important thing to remember in franchising is that franchisees are successful to the extent they follow the model… or, reversing that, they will fail to the extent they don’t follow the model.

That’s assuming the model is right, of course!

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