Your FDD has just been issued and prospective franchisees are showing interest in your brand. What comes next? Learn the steps for selling franchises as a new franchisor.
Having your FDD issued is one of the most important milestones on every new franchisor’s franchising journey. It means you can legally start offering and selling franchise opportunities to prospective franchisees – and taking your brand to new heights.
As a complex legal document, however, the FDD can often seem intimidating for franchisee candidates. Because of that, handing over a copy of your FDD to a prospective franchisee usually won’t be enough to close the sale of a new franchise. In order to successfully grow a franchise system, new franchisors need to develop a sales strategy that communicates the value of their brand in a way that’s clear and approachable.
Below, we’ll discuss what you need to know in order to start selling franchise opportunities successfully as a new franchisor.
FDDs Scare People
Yes, that’s right. As a franchisor, the first thing you need to remember is that FDDs are big, scary legal documents. The FDD is a mandatory legal disclosure document that includes so much information and will usually overwhelm your franchisee candidates. Of course you have to send prospective franchisees your FDD at some point – but if it’s the focal point of your sales process, then you’re making a mistake. There needs to be a process in place that starts with a franchise sales website, a digital brochure guide and videos to show prospective franchisees.
Display Your Franchise Sales Process on Your Website
Your franchise sales website, or the webpage on your consumer website, should include information about why your franchise offering is compelling. Make sure to provide information about your team and a call to action to learn more or download your brochure or guide.
It’s also a good idea to feature engaging videos about your brand on your website, including one of yourself telling your story as the founder. This content should all be bundled together as you communicate with interested franchisee candidates.
Getting your franchise sales process in order involves making sure you clearly communicate and demonstrate a framework of your opportunity, including:
- The story behind your brand.
- The advantages of your franchise.
- Unit level economics.
- A compelling “Why You, Why Now” that shows the unique differentiators of your brand.
5 Steps for Selling Franchises
Your franchise sales website should be transparent and reflect your process so that candidates know what to expect. Educate your candidates about the steps and process for franchise ownership, and give them a roadmap of what they should expect when they contact you.
- Candidate fills out form to Download Ownership Guide
Your main call-to-action and contact form on your franchise opportunity website or webpage should be for prospective franchisees to download your digital opportunity guide in exchange for their information. “Learn More” or “Download Our Guide” works well. A simple form asking for their name, email address and phone number is sufficient.
- Talk with the Team and Review FDD
Speak with one another and match your expectations. Set up a presentation about your brand and the opportunity. This is also your chance to see if the franchisee candidate would be a good fit for your brand. During this call, you can talk to them about the FDD and what they should expect to see in it. You may have several follow up calls with them to discuss territories and other items included in the FDD.
- Due Diligence and Franchisee Validation
If you already have franchisees, you can encourage candidates to speak with existing franchisees to learn about their experiences. This is why over-delivering to your franchisees is especially important, because they can be your best (or worst) salespeople.
- Discovery Day and Qualify
As you get deeper into the process, many franchisors have a more formal application process to help them qualify their franchisees and hold a discovery day at their corporate office. Recently, many brands are hosting Virtual Discovery Days.
- Sign your Agreement and Open New location
Award the franchise to the new buyer and start your onboarding process!
Watch the video above and see how to use your FDD in the sales process.
- Although the FDD is a mandated legal document, your prospects should know that receiving the FDD does not legally bind them in any way (only signing a franchise agreement and paying a franchise fee does).
- Before you can offer or sell to that franchisee, make sure you are complying with the laws and are registered in those particular states.
- Don’t give out legal advice! Recommend that they review everything with a franchise lawyer. Get candidates acclimated to the FDD and the role it serves, but never give legal advice.
Check out this Infographic of a Sample Franchise Sales Website Wireframe: