Disclaimer: This is not a misplaced political rant! Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at what the 2016 presidential race can teach us about selling franchises.
If you think about it, the presidential elections and franchise sales have much in common. Choosing the next leader of the free world and investing in a franchise opportunity are both big, potentially life changing decisions. To win at either, you must be able to connect with people and clearly articulate a vision that means something to their lives.
Last night as I watched Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders crush their competitors in New Hampshire, I got to thinking about why these two unlikely candidates have captured the hearts and minds of so many Americans.
If someone told me five years ago that some day I might have to choose between an overly tanned real estate mogul-turned-reality-TV-star and a crazy-haired socialist from Brooklyn for president of the United States, I would have rolled my eyes and laughed in disbelief.
As that scenario becomes a reality, there are a number of lessons we can learn from their success to generate and close more franchise deals.
- Stand for Something: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders may be far apart on the political spectrum, but their meteoric rise in the presidential race is due to something they have in common. Both candidates have clearly defined who they are, what they stand for and whose interests they represent.
This isn’t to say that as a franchise sales professional you should reveal what you personally believe. It’s about clearly defining who you are or, in the context of franchise development, what your brand stands for. Take the time to determine who it is you want to attract. Craft your marketing messages and sales processes around those prospects and forget trying to win over everyone.
When you try to make your franchise opportunity appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.
- It’s Not About You: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have another thing in common. They have both tapped into the needs and desires of their target audience. Although Trump may be a narcissist, he has identified the goals, aspirations, pain points and needs of a segment of the American public and he talks about his candidacy from the perspective of what he can do for them. Sanders also uses this approach to great effect. People are drawn to him because he talks about their struggles and dreams.
These candidates aren’t generating a groundswell of support because people understand them to be the most qualified or because they hold themselves up as outstanding leaders. They have the support of the people because they have best articulated their value in the context of people’s lives. The same approach works for franchise sales.
To attract prospects and keep them engaged, you must tell the story of your opportunity from the perspective of how it will help the candidate achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations.
- The 360 Approach: While Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are telling a consistent story over and over again, the methods they use to deliver their story are diverse. Effective political marketing machines utilize multiple channels. They get the word out to the people by engaging people where they are: Saturday Night Live, Facebook, business programs, email, etc.
Franchise developers should take note. If you rely on limited channels to generate franchise leads and your arsenal of tools to nurture those leads are limited to one or two mediums, you are not maximizing your potential. The channels you use should be determined by the prospects you want to connect with. Prospects are self-directed in their discovery, research and decision-making processes when it comes to investing in a franchise.
Are you making the right information available at the right time to influence potential franchisees who aren’t ready to give you the green light to engage with them directly?
Now go out there, shake hands and kiss babies like the politicians do. Maybe you should skip the baby kissing. That could get awkward.
If you’d like to talk politics or learn how the creative masterminds at 54 work with franchise brands to effectively generate and nurture leads, hit me up. Rachael@engage54.com