Suppliers Need To Realize B2B Selling Isn’t A Real Thing
There is no such thing as business to business (B2B) sales between suppliers and franchisors.
Defining your sales efforts as B2B has pervasive limitations to your company’s mindset. For suppliers in the franchise industry, this is a major problem that has contributed to more than one company’s demise.
B2B sales is not a transaction between businesses but rather between two people or P2P. People buy from people. So, when selling to a franchisor, focus on the person, not the company.
Any franchisor executive will tell you they’re inundated daily with suppliers trying to sell them products or services. A large portion of the IFA funding is from suppliers of all kinds. Most tradeshows are packed full of suppliers targeting the franchisor exhibitors.
I see so many franchise suppliers trip up and treat all franchisors the same, to the detriment of their sales and growth. The idea of mass emailing a list of executives a generic message may seem appealing but it’s a bad approach to sales. The first step to successful selling to franchisors is to redefine the meaning of “franchisor”.
The starting point for my sales team is to define a ‘franchisor’ as a group of people. This is our mindset as we engage potential franchisor clients. It’s a people first approach. Franchisors come in all shapes and sizes and executives within franchisors have their own predilections and personal goals.
Understanding the characteristics of the franchise business is important. There’s the mom and pop franchisor to the large mature franchisor. There’s franchisors who are selling franchise outlets rapidly and those that are stagnant or shrinking in size.
But what matters more are the characteristics of the executives in these franchise businesses. The mom and pop franchisor is typically a founder and their family are in executive positions, where the large mature franchisor has multiple layers of mid-level executives with varied backgrounds and a true corporate structure. The personal goals of the executives from these two franchises are quite different.
Sales is all about reading the person you’re speaking to and selling in a language they can understand. Men and women think differently. Personality types think differently. Being able to pick up on the type of decision making processes a person uses allows you to phrase your sales message in a way that they understand, increasing your odds of closing the deal.
Any franchise supplier should start with studying the franchisor executives within their potential clientele. Profile every executive in the organization. Understand each individual executive’s background and experience. Develop relationships. Engage each executive in a unique way based on their personality type. Ask questions to uncover their individual needs and wants. Focus on the people not the franchise.
Sales has never been B2B. Sales has always been P2P first. Your sales depend on engaging the people within a franchise system, not the franchise system itself. Refocusing your sales processes and efforts on people not businesses will give your company a better chance of selling your products or services within the franchise industry.
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