Franchise prospects are doing more and more research before they are willing to fill out a form on your website or pick up the phone. This means much more of our sales pitch has to be available online. Gone are the days where we can have a few teasers about a business concept and expect prospects to dutifully submit a form. The more capital-intensive your business, the more sophisticated and research-driven your prospects are likely to be. The answer is to develop strong content that helps educate prospects on every aspect of your business opportunity.
It starts with a thorough Franchise section on your website, but should continue through your social media outreach as well. Most franchisors have embraced social media for their consumers – but have ignored B2B social media to connect with prospective owners. From profiling top owners to discussing trends that make your concept particularly attractive, there are endless opportunities to generate good quality content. If you make it truly informative, not just a thinly veiled sales pitch, you can spark conversations and interaction from potential prospects. Push your content out through relevant LinkedIn groups, industry forums, Twitter, YouTube videos, your blog, and so on. Some franchisors can handle it all in-house; others depend on agencies like ours to manage this effort from start to finish so they can focus on the sales process.
Track your referral sources through Google Analytics and you’ll start to see your B2B social media feeding an increasing amount of traffic to the franchise section of your site. You will begin to generate more leads from prospects who are more qualified. You will also find they have advanced themselves further along the sales funnel thanks to the content and conversation you have fueled.
Some prospects will still “raise their hand” early, inquiring well before they are really ready to buy. If they are not ready, or drop out of your sales funnel early, use your B2B social channels to keep them engaged and advance their thinking. Your team can even take note of which articles or conversations motivate prospects to click-through or respond – providing valuable insights on individual sales barriers and opportunities.
It’s a brave new world for franchise sales: embrace it, get out ahead of it, and reap the rewards.